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Andre Fertier's Clivage - Regina Astris [Aka: Clivage] CD (album) cover


Andre Fertier's Clivage


Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

3.79 | 30 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars ANDRE FERTIER'S CLIVAGE remains one of the most celebrated obscurities in the underground Indo-raga and progressive rock scene and is therefore celebrated for their unique East meets West approach that they delivered on their three albums that began with this 1977 debut REGINA ASTRIS and ended with the 1985 "Kassiopee." While the three albums all have distinct identities, they all share a similar amalgamation of Indian raga, jazz, drone and progressive rock workouts. To this day these albums have never seen a second pressing after their initial vinyl releases yet are heralded for being some of the best examples of the Indo-raga jazz fusion scene.

REGINA ASTRIS is divided up into three long tracks clocking in over the ten minute mark and a five minute finale. The general gist of the entire album is a drone-like monotonous rhtymm that is the product of the percussion section of Armand Lemal and Indian tabla playing of Patricio Villaurel which provides the skeletal structure for the jazzy saxophone workouts of Jean Pierre de Barba, the hypnotic bass line of Claude Duhaut and the violin of Mahmoud Tabrizizadeh to play around. This is a sort of a jam session as the track's flow is typically long, rhythmic and trance inducing with the sax and violin adding melodic accoutrements to the mix. ANDRE FERTIER adds the extra touches with acoustic guitars and keyboards but they seem to be subdued under the mix of the ethnic influences that dominate the soundscapes.

REGINA ASTRIS is much jazzier than albums like "Mixtus Orbus" that were more psychedelic and magnanimous in nature. This one has a more down-to-earth feel as it connects directly to the jazz world with the sax contributions as well as the folk world when the violin dominates. As with all CLIVAGE albums, the main gist is for a rhythmic structure to burrow into the listener's consciousness before unfurling the tapestry of melodic sounds that dance around each other. While the track "Moving Waves" is more upbeat with howling saxophone workouts, the title track is more contemplative traditional raga oriented and certainly can remind one of a less caffeinated Shakti at times.

CLIVAGE does an excellent job at arranging the tracks so that each element has a chance to shine thus allowing all four tracks to have their own personalities. However the raga elements whether tamped down or allowed to shine always make their presence known while the sax and violin usually trade off as opposed to battling it out. "Mama Swat" actually starts out bringing chamber rock acts like Univers Zero to mind before it lifts the darkened veil and brings in lighter tones to the mix. MIXTUS ORBUS is a fairly unique sounding album that keeps the listener engaged throughout the entire run and baffles the mind as to why this has never received a proper updated release. If there are any patron saints who are seeking to release long lost gems, then by all means add ANDRE FERTIER'S CLIVAGE's three albums to the list. They are truly well deserved prog classics that more than deserve to be rediscovered.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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