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Plat Du Jour - Plat Du Jour CD (album) cover


Plat Du Jour


Eclectic Prog

4.52 | 51 ratings

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Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
5 stars A brain melting stew of jazz-fusion, Zeuhl and avant-garde experimentation with a pinch of the Canterbury sound (plus anything else you can think of!), the debut/one-off album from obscure French collective Plat du Jour from 1977 is a bewildering but utterly indispensable work! Holding six tracks of dissonant weary sax, noisy guitars, thick liquid bass, sparkling electric piano, colourful keyboards, a battery of rattling drumming and screeching deranged French vocal twitches, it's an eclectic mix that makes for one completely mad vintage era prog album that's worthy of so much more attention and status!

The schizophrenic lead track `5 & 11' opens with drowsy wafting sax ambience and sighing voices before exploding into stuttering filthy and wild electric guitar spasms, nightmarish electric piano trickles and a pained howling vocal, all permeated with a creeping Zeuhl-like menace. `Autoroute' is book-ended by shimmering dreamy washes of glistening ambient synths and ruminative bass, but diverts into a maddening Zeuhl eruption of snarling guitar gargles and murky fuzzed distortion in between. The baffling `Zilbra' moves through everything from pumping dancing beats with funky serpentine bass to sauntering chilled guitar jamming and crooning falsetto before a Canterbury-flavoured dirty fuzz-organ climax behind a Can/Damo Suzuki-like inane spitting scat vocal rant - phew!

Mud-thick slithering bass and maniacal swirling Hammond organ runs graft supremely dirty grooves to the heavily improvised `Totem', guitar crashing through everything from bluesy struts and snarling psychedelic wailing. `L'Homme' is a pleasingly lo-fi and shambling acoustic ballad flecked with the lightest of electric piano tiptoes, droning electronics and fuzzy electric guitar distortion, and closer `Rock 'N' Speed' is a rip-roaring jazz-fusion blowout of spiralling sax and breakneck drumming with a nice mellow come-down in the closing minutes.

After taunting listeners with only a long-vanished initial vinyl run in the Seventies and some uploaded teasing clips on Youtube, finally the `Plat du Jour' album is available again in 2016 on reissued LP and CD sets from the Paisley Press label, so open-minded prog fans can easily track it down again - likely for the first time!

The schizophrenic nature of this set will either make or break the album for listeners, and some of production is a bit do-it- yourself, but these inconsistencies are exactly what give the album a rough grit that makes it even more delicious. If you click with it, there's a ton of danger-laced, unhinged and addictive grooving noise to love with `Plat du Jour', and those looking for fascinating obscurities and unpolished musical gems will likely relish what they find here. It's another in the long line of bizarre one-and-done acts that left a sole precious work to treasure and count among the absolutely essential prog-related fringe albums.

Four and a half stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 5/5 |


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