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Vortex - Vortex CD (album) cover

VORTEX

Vortex

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

4.21 | 53 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
5 stars Recorded in the summer of 75, Vortex's self titled is one of the most accomplished Jazz-rock inflected prog rock from that era and came from France's second city. Still nowadays regarded as the country's best kept secret, Vortex only recorded two albums throughout their decade of music adventures that saw the group come from Testu Band to Urantia the Vortex. This debut album must be seen nowadays as an absolutely essential piece of RIO, clearly preceding Art Zoyd and Univers Zero by a good 18 months headstart. Indeed, the Vivante brothers' group was always scared of being compared to Magma's spectre

Starting on the rather startling (compared with the rest of the album's more sombre material) Haroun' Tasckouack opener the psychedelic jazz rock that seemed to ogle towards Out Of Focus, with its sax and flute works over Fender Rhodes and slowly evolving rhythms. The Ahsquoumboum is very different, borrowing a Kobaian rhythm, but keeping the sax Out Of Focus, but not out of tune.

The 14-mins+ Délicieuse Créature track starts out again a bit in the OOF mode, but soon veers in a chamber rock but in a solid jazz-) rock vein with Vivante's great Fender Rhodes (being reminiscent of Ratledge or Jenkins >> Soft Machine and Nucleus respectively) underlining the whole pedestrian march, somewhere between Magma and Zoyd, yet keeping an excellent psyched-out flute and sax duo around. As an afterthought, the closing but all too short Abominable Créature is a good outro, ending in a near chaotic free jazz.

The reissue of this album comes with two bonus tracks, which add much value to anotherwise rather short album. The superbly slow eastern-sounding chimes'n-all track of Cool Raoul is an absolute joy and a slow evolving thing subtly evolving to another Nuclueus- Soft Machine and Out Of Focus wild track, before slowly reverting to its quieter entrance. These almost 12 minutes bonus could be even better than what the rest of the album had to offer. Prolégo 1 is a more Zeuhlian monster, even if the

An amazing album that can be likened to Out Of Focus, but heading out in a more Zeuhl-ish direction than the breass heavy German group's direction. Vortex's self-titled is definitely one of the most stunning album around from France in the 70's.

Sean Trane | 5/5 |

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