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DallasBryan View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: LARD FREE
    Posted: April 07 2005 at 07:41
What is your favorite Lard Free album, and do you
have any comments on Im Around About Midnight or
III ?
Anyone that likes Pink Floyd or Picchio dal Pozzo or
maybe Schicke, Fuhrs and Froeling should give this
"best band from France " a close listen!
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DallasBryan View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 07 2005 at 08:08
GEPR
This Band was mainly a project by Gilbert Artman
(synths and keybords), but there is also a strong
guitar and drums here. The music could best be
compared to Heldon. The first one has shorter
pieces and is more experimental jazzrock, whereas
on the second (apeared on the French Cobra label)
you find long organ/synths/guitar jams (tree pieces).
Very nice, defenitely recommended for those
interested in frensh prog and fans of Heldon!

GNOSIS
Lard Free was a French band led by
drummer/multi-instrumentalist Gilbert Artman, who
had previously been playing in a free jazz ensemble
called Operation Rhino. Lard Free released three
albums during the seventies on which they tried to
integrate jazz, rock, free form improvisation, and
electronic music.

Their self-titled first album is a melting pot of all
these elements, although the jazz-rock element
dominates. Hard to compare to anyone else, but the
music sounds somewhat similar to Miles Davis on
"Bitches Brew". The album starts with "Warinobaril":
the music is led by a slow, deep groove on bass
guitar. A bit later, stretched out saxophone leads set
in and are sustained for some time; eventually a
heavily distorted electric guitar crashes into the
music. The second track of the album is dominated
by pulsating synthesizers that go slowly, but
ultimately completely, out of control. In the
background a jazzy saxophone provides a strange
counterbalance to the squeaking synthesizers in the
front. About halfway, the mood suddenly changes
and we are again in experimental jazz-rock territory
with a rather "free" guitar solo. The rest of the album
continues in a similar vein as the first two tracks:
synth drones are intertwined with 70s jazz-rock.
Check out the lazy groove that pervades "Acide
Framboise": it sounds like weird electronic funk from
another galaxy. All in all, a captivating and original
debut album.

On the second album, I Am Around About Midnight,
the music had become significantly more electronic
at the expense of the jazz-rock influences. The
opening track, "Violez l'Espace de Son Refrigerant",
reminds me of the otherwordly soundscapes of early
Tangerine Dream albums like "Zeit" and "Atem". The
album sounds more like a long suite, where subtle
accents provided by vibes, electric guitar, and
percussion fade in and fade out to support the icy
sounding sythesizers. The closest comparison
would be early Heldon (Richard Pinhas joins the
band on guitar here), but Lard Free's approach is
more interesting in my opinion. The spacey and
sparse music recalls images of wide panoramas,
endless steps, or if you wish, cosmic travel through
vast areas of emptiness. A mesmerizing classic
from the seventies French scene.

The third album Spirale Malax is even more
electronic, with the complete absence of the jazz
rock aspect. Spirale Malax is their most experimental
and unconventional album. It is based on dark and
detached sounding musical structures extracted
from a variety of keyboards and further enhanced by
distorted, Frippian guitar lines. At first hearing, the
album may sound a bit cold and uninviting, but there
is a compelling urgency to the music. Again the best
comparison would be Heldon, although Heldon's
later albums would be the best reference point for
Spirale Malax. An essential album if you like
experimental electronic music.

Edited by DallasBryan
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Sean Trane View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 07 2005 at 08:23

Good to see you back DB,

Lard Free's first album is my fave from them. As each new album came out , they sounded more and more Krautrock in a Tangerine Dream way. Somehow they were close in approach to Heldon, too.

There is a fourth release called Unnamed presenting stuff prior to the first album and some of it smokes too , but some of those tracks are dangerously close to Henry Cow. The opening track is really giving you acoustic slaps across the face as to allow you to free your brains from all preconceived ideas.

I have been listening to Guapo lately. Saw them live in Brussels last Sunday. Awesome trio. Between Crimson, Magma, Terry Riley , and some Ratledge KB parts. Heard of them?



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Sean Trane View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 07 2005 at 08:25
I have been trying to get M@X to put Lard Free in the Archives and he says that he will . Patience.
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DallasBryan View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 13 2005 at 20:00
thanks Sean Trane, you are a wise guy!
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