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Le Grand Sbam - Vaisseau Monde CD (album) cover


Le Grand Sbam



4.07 | 8 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Honorary Reviewer
4 stars Back in the Nineties, there is no doubt in my mind that the most important alternative musical magazine was the mighty Organ. It's anarchic layout, the way they raved over bands (they made the decision only to write about music they liked), the in-depth knowledge and the way Sean and Marina were seemingly at every gig in London, made it invaluable. I used to swap copies of Feedback for it, and then take it home and try to make sense of what they were writing about. Needless to say, I am always intrigued when Sean recommends a band to me, given their predilection to bands such as Cardiacs and Poisoned Electrick Head, and he pointed me towards a video of Le Grand Sbam in concert. I watched the clip, then watched it again, but my brain still could not comprehend what on earth it had witnessed. The only thing to do was of course track down the debut album, and now my ears have joined the club, and they have no- one to blame but themselves this time, as at least last time around they could say it was the eyes which were at fault.

I should list the guilty parties, namely Jessica Martin Maresco and Marie Nachury who are the singers at the front of the stage. Obviously professional trained, they stand there in readiness to give virtuoso performances which indeed they do, but I have never heard anything like this as they perform vocal gymnastics and bounce all over the place. The supporting musicians, Mélissa Acchiardi (vibraphone, percussion), Antoine Arnera (keyboards), Boris Cassone (bass) and Guilhem Meier (drums) are also here for the fun, moving between simplicity and complexity and often seemingly at odds with each other, yet somehow it makes musical sense. This is RIO/avant music in the extreme, music which the vast majority of listeners will switch off as it is such a noise, but I believe this is progressive music in its truest sense, pushing boundaries and refusing to accept norms. The percussion can be in control, sometimes the voices, whereas at others it is total anarchy, but anarchy with a purpose. This is music which is jagged, designed to make the listener think, as far away from being a warm comforter as anyone can imagine. Bleak and harsh, it is a work of some importance.

kev rowland | 4/5 |


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