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La Theorie Des Cordes - Premières vibrations CD (album) cover


La Theorie Des Cordes


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.50 | 10 ratings

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4 stars One of my favourite instrumental progressive related albums of the last few years, the debut album `Premieres Vibrations' by French band La Theorie Des Cordes is a confident mix of snappy jazz, electric fusion with some gothic/cabaret drama and occasional harder moments, though rarely heavy enough to actually be metal. The band is impossible to pigeonhole into one genre, with most tracks diverting in different directions throughout and never ending the same way that they started. There's a real cracking energy to the performances, and although all the band members are first-rate talented musicians, there's a loose sound to their compositions that ensures the album never gets overly stuffy or lifeless.

Piano player Stephanie Artaud is a revelation here, sprinkling so much of the album with endless varieties of energetic and refined jazzy playing. Guitarist Mathieu Torres plays with a fire that jumps from manic attacks to thoughtful and emotional soloing, while Tadzio Gottberg's drumming is varied and commanding. Maxime Jaslier also contributes wonderful sprightly sax and fluid bass playing that compliments the band perfectly.

Opener `Supernova' is an emotional and slowly unfolding piece full of frantic and passionate electric guitar playing, bolero-like themes and tip-toeing piano soloing with just the right balance between delicate beauty and slight unease. There's some occasional heavy grunt and brooding tension throughout but pay special attention to the dreamy and haunting outro.

I cannot express how much I love the Canterbury foot-tapper `Reves Premonitoires'! Almost seven minutes of instrumental jazzy perfection with a slight Latin influence, full of snappy percussion/drumming and plenty of Gong-like sax. Winding sneaky guitar twists through dazzling piano that moves from upbeat, cheeky playfulness and slight eeriness before a wild cascading climax. This tracks always makes me smile and puts me in a great mood every time I hear it - 10 out of 10!!

`D'Hêtre A Etre' is a dramatic slow-burner with an emotional extended electric guitar theme constantly reprised throughout, plus dark jazz piano interludes, snarling heavy distorted guitar and very impressive deep melodic bass soloing. Listen to how expertly the band contrasts the moody improvised middle section with a frantic race to the finish full of classical flourishes, wild electric soloing and crashing percussion!

`Singes' begins as a floating early 70's Pink Floyd shimmering mystery, lots of tasteful dreamy guitar and hypnotic piano, with a very reflective and thoughtful guitar theme that plays throughout the piece. Then half way though the piece kicks up a storm with uptempo piano, urgent drumming and snarling guitar before falling away into the psychedelic ambience of the beginning.

`Le Bas-Art De L'Epouvante' is another devilish and fiery bolero/Canterbury concoction with some gothic/classical drama amongst the dizzying piano storm and truly ragged dirty guitar soloing, `Berceuse Moderne' is a beautiful heartfelt piano/guitar ballad with a subtly romantic melody and just a hint of danger. `Renaissances' is a dark and heavy spacey finale that opens with very sinister bass soloing, before jazzy drumming, swirling electronics, maddening middle-eastern themed electric guitar riffs and nightmare inducing ghostly piano finish the album in a very dramatic way that leaves you wanting ever more.

All in all, a varied, original and exciting first release from a talented band that offers so much potential. Highly recommended to all lovers of instrumental progressive rock, why not give them a try if you're after an exciting and accomplished young band with real personality and technical skills? Hopefully we'll also get a live DVD or CD from the band sometime in the future, as I have a feeling these guys will be in another league altogether live!

An easy four stars...perhaps four and a half!

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |


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