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Minimum Vital - Envol Triangles - Les Saisons Marines CD (album) cover


Minimum Vital


Eclectic Prog

2.50 | 19 ratings

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3 stars The roots of this legendary French band go back in 1981, when brothers Thierry Payssan (keyboards) and Jean-Luc Payssan (guitars) formed the duo Concept, which eventually turned to a proper band with Eric Rebeyrol on bass and Francois Peron on drums.Peron would be soon replaced by Antonie Fillon and the band made afterwards its live debut.Female flutist Anne Colas jumps in around 1984 and Concept enter the Carat Studio in Bordeaux to record the cassette album ''Envol triangles''.By the time of its release in 1985 the band changes the name to Minimum Vital.

This was a very good Symphonic-Jazz Rock album with numerous keyboard workouts, some lovely guitar work and the constant presence of Colas' flute drives, the result is a complex music proposal, which crosses the lines of FOCUS, CAMEL and mid-70's KING CRIMSON at the same time, drawing influences from Classical Music, Folk and Jazz-Fusion.Nice organ parts, which was a strange thing to play in mid-80's, and endless interplays between keyboards and flutes, surrounded by an intricate rhythm section and the impressive guitar hooks of Jean-Luc Payssan.The music is all instrumental with tons of breaks and tempo changes, having often a pretty dark atmosphere, twisting from melodious textures to rich, demanding arrangements with an almost dissonant sound, sometimes close to neighbours EDHELS.

The same year Minimum Viyal faced the departure of Follin with Christophe Godet, formerly of Pseu, taking over the drum duties.Several concerts and intense songwriting would follow with Minimum Vital getting in touch with Francis Grosse of the Musea label in order to release a first vinyl album.This would become true in 1987 with the album ''Les saisons marines''.

The style of the band was now more refined, elaborate and definitely more professional with a cleaner and more convincing sound, while they started to add some light Medieval tunes into their music, a trademark of the band over the next years.The jazzy elements and the abstract rhythms remain the basic components of their music, flavored by symphonic keyboard themes and yet again some furious and inventive instrumental intercations.High level of technical accomplishment, tight and usually fast-paced compositions with changing climates and dense interplays characterized a sound, which was totally uncommercial and deeply progressive.They added a fair bunch of archaic-styled keyboard lines and even some sampled harsichord in the process along with the folky acoustic guitars, the result was a fascinating sound with a deeper Folk taste.Despite the strong presence of synths, the Classical-drenched organ interludes remain a solid value of their music, which was taken to another level with the demanding mix of rural, symphonic and Fusion elements.

As both the original cassette and vinyl issues are pretty rare, these early works of Minimun Vital were resissued by Musea in 1992 via a CD compilation.A new star was born in the 80's, creating haunting and highly progressive instrumental music.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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