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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Nimal - Voix De Surface
    Posted: November 06 2007 at 17:34
NIMAL - Voix De Surface
 
If you're into the Eastern European/gypsy/SMM-influenced sounding bands with good humour, then Nimal should be a band you seek out.
 
Of their three albums, I'd say this would be the best choice, but first lets get to know them.
 
Their bio from All Music Guide:
 
DisTanz is a worthy successor to Voix de Surface,mixing the charm, warmth, and intimacy of Eastern European folk music with the off-kilter sensibilities of the avant-prog bands of the Rock in Opposition school. Following Voix de Surface, cellist Tom Cora and multi-instrumentalist Jean-Vin Huguenin left Nimal, reducing the group to a core trio of Momo Rossel, Bratko Bibic, and Pippin Barnett. And while Cora's signature rough-riding cello in particular is missed, DisTanz still fares quite nicely, thank you, given Rossel's remarkable abilities on a multitude of instruments (including guitar, hurdy-gurdy, bouzouki, bass, and sampler), the inventive contributions of accordionist Bibic and drummer/percussionist Barnett, and the appearances of various guest musicians, notably bassist Nino De Gleria on many tracks and clarinetists Cédric Vuille and Pierre Kaufmann on the complex, multi-sectioned "Grand Carré." However, the uniformly strong compositions -- over half penned by Rossel -- remain the album's most winning feature, harder edged than folk, stranger than mainstream rock, rougher and earthier than classical music. The album's best pieces, like "Od Tukaj Do Zdaj" and the aforementioned "Grand Carré," are filled with unexpected twists and turns, as joyous folk dances segue into driving, rockish interludes and the ubiquitous skewed rhythms keep everything engagingly off balance. The mood shifts are striking as well -- from the almost childlike innocence of the sprightly title track, featuring Bibic's sing-song vocal and whistling, to the inexorable, syncopated dirge tempo of the darkly dramatic album closer "Campagnes," in which Barnett's driving percussion and Rossel's hurdy-gurdy and sampler ultimately triumph over Bibic's accordion, drowning it out in a gradual buildup that ends with an abrasive, distorted wail at the final fade. On DisTanz, Nimal draws inspiration from the early solo work of Fred Frith (particularly Gravity) and from other avant-prog artists of similar vintage (the warmth of Lars Hollmer, the darkness of Univers Zero), but the group is ultimately more than a mere catalog of such influences. Voix de Surface excels in documenting the five-piece, festival-ready version of Nimal, but DisTanz is equally compelling as an expertly conceived studio project, an often cinematic recording that can be easily recommended to listeners of the avant-prog persuasion. ~ Dave Lynch, All Music Guide
 
 
 
Their PA bio:
 
Created in 1987 by Marcel “Momo” Rossel, founder of experimental Swiss band DÉBILE MENTHOL, NIMAL were a kind of RIO supergroup that brought together an eclectic set of multi-instrumentalists from various avant-garde bands: U.S. artists Tom Cora from SKELETON CREW, CURLEW and Pippin Barnett from ORTHOTONICS, NO SAFETY, CURLEW; Jean-20 Huguenin from DÉBILE MENTHOL and Shirley Hoffman-Wolz from Swiss band L'ENSEMBLE RAYÉ; Slovenian artist Bratko Bibic from BEGNAGRAD, plus many others. Stylistically, they mixed their respective bands' styles with that of first-generation RIO bands (HENRY COW, UNIVERS ZERO, AMLA MAMMAS MANNA). Before their dissolution in 1992, they had toured throughout Europe and Canada and had released three albums.

Propelled by shifting folk-dance rhythms and wonderful sound effects, their style borders on world music. Their material is given a dictinct Eastern European, almost Gypsy flavour through the use of the accordion, bouzouki, hurdy-gurdy, cello and various percussion instruments in addition to the usual guitar/keyboards/bass/drum combo. A close comparison would be a slightly more frenzied version of SAMLA MAMMAS MANNA. All of their albums feature relatively short but catchy tunes (a rarity from an RIO band) and plenty of sonic goodies (yes, yodelling CAN be cool!). Of their three albums, "Dis Tanz" is the most varied and energetic but all are worth checking out.

Particularly recommended to SAMLA MAMMAS MANNA fans, especially those who like the band's later incarnation (“ZAMLA”).

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :
LinksHere's their Myspace - http://www.myspace.com/momorosselAnother page about them - http://www.labelusines.com/nimal.htmlHugues' review of the album:

NIMAL — Voix De Surface

Review by Sean Trane (Hugues Chantraine)
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog-Folk Specialist

4%20stars If you thought you had problems distinguishing RIO from what the Archives call Avant- Prog, things are not about to be simpler if you pick this album up. This project is the second stage of Swiss Momo Rossel and JV Huguenin’s (Rio-extraordinaire multi- musician) three-stage musical rocket. After Debile Menthol at the start of the 80’s and before L’Ensemble Rayé at the start of the 90’s, Nimal is has released three albums, of which this second one is the best-regarded by specialists. Half the album was recorded live in a festival, but you’d have a hard time guessing it, from the quality of the recording but also no public: the odd between tracks spot you hear applause. The live half is much better and livelier than the first studio part. Most likely, this was either two different Vinyls or two separate releases. There are a few new versions of tracks present on their first album.

Just like L’ER, this group uses predominantly acoustic instruments (only a few electric guitars), but the music is much more twisted, much wilder and more challenging for the casual listener. If it could appear that L’ER was a bit light on prog rock contents, Nimal certainly changed that and they sound a bit like a crazier Miriodor crossing Alamaailman Vasarat, the presence of the accordion helping on this last reference. The instrumental music (certainly not described by the album’s title) veers from Circus music to atonal (even abstract at times) music to a rather positive (and happy) kind of Univers Zero. Interference Sardine is also not far.

Most of the tracks are quite energetic, some even reaching diabolical and frenetic pace with the cellos going nuts (James River), some even reaching infernal chaos (Animal Triste’s start) others are radiant and happy (Le Soleil and La Marelle), but the huge majority of the Rossel-penned tracks are very impressive.

Personally if you ask me, I find Nimal much better than L’ER, even if they will be much less of a cup of tea of your non-prog entourage, but then again as most progheads come from a rock background, chances are that you will not really play L’ER or Nimal to your buddies, but your chances to get laid are better with L’ER. An excellent album, but not one to recommend to newcomers of the Avant/RIO realm, Voix De Surface is Nimal’s best shot at Prog history. Haunting and just short of stunning!!!

Posted Wednesday, March 14, 2007, 03:45 EST | Permanent link

 
 
 
 
 
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1. Une Lucie (5:44)
2. In Tenda (5:46)
3. Sale Temps, Mais les Couleurs Sont Belles (5:05)
4. Tarotska (3:40)
5. Le Soleil (5:16)
6. La Marelle (5:04)
7. Le 4eme Jeudi de la Semaine (2:41)
8. James River (5:11)
9. Maligne (3:00)
10. La 2eme Jeudi (3:56)
11. La 3eme Jeudi (3:04)
12. Animal Triste (4:11)
13. Le Tram (2:55)
14. Au Zoo (5:04)
15. Un Drame (4:45)

Total Time: 65:12

Line-up/Musicians

- Momo Rossel / guitars, bouzouki, keyboards, bass, Hurdy Gurdy, accordeon
- Pippin Barnett / drums, percussion
- Tom Cora / cello, bass, accordeon
- Bratko Bibic / harmonica, accordeon, melodica, piano
- Jean-Vincent Huguenin / bass, guitars, piano, sounds

Releases information

CD RecRec (1990)

 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 07 2007 at 09:31
Bump....
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 07 2007 at 11:14
As my review says, a great album.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 07 2007 at 15:16
I haven't heard this one yet, though I have heard their predecessor Begnagrad's self-titled. Great avant stuff.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 08 2007 at 13:31
Haven't heard yet, but if they are similar to BEGNAGRAD, then I suppose it is worth every penny you pay for them...  
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 30 2008 at 22:26
Swedish bump
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