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Etron Fou Leloublan - Batelages CD (album) cover


Etron Fou Leloublan



3.44 | 64 ratings

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3 stars Etron Fou Leloublan are a band in the RIO movement that are as notable as Henry Cow, Univers Zero or Samla Mammas Manna. But that doesn't mean that EFL aren't unique in their own right. The dissonant, freeform capabilities of the genre appear in EFL's music, but so do punk and Latin music to a degree. The penchant for French humour is the wild card, and unless one understands the French language pretty well (I don't, unfortunately), expect to find yourself lost.

Starting at the end, the last two big numbers (''Madame Richard'', ''Histoire de Graine'') have loads of dissonant sax lines and absolutely bonkers percussive lines in the middles. The latter track has a beautiful bass-chord driven beginning that sparks interest. During the crazier section, it's hard to understand that all of that noise comes from just a bassist playing chords, a percussionist and a saxophonist. Unfortunately, this freeform stuff is what might drive most progsters nuts.

There's an epic here in the opening track, and it features punk-like shouting in the beginning, loads of bass chords that sound like guitars and Latin music excursions. The problem is that the epic is way to fragmented; sometimes ideas simply fade out and there's just a bit of French comedy in dry time until the next idea comes.

''Solo Brigada'' is another percussion solo that doesn't make that big of a splash, ''Yvett' Blouse'' is way too short considering the idea the band had going. EFL through BATELAGES is mainly for those with a soft spot for RIO, but some of the more accessible ideas are likely to attract newcomers to the genre moreso than the modern classical avantness of say Henry Cow. A little too much disjointedness keeps BATELAGES from being in the upper strata of RIO albums.

Sinusoid | 3/5 |


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