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Camembert - Clacosmique CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.45 | 8 ratings

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4 stars Excellent debut by Camembert, a new French band from Strasbourg. The 6 track EP (over 30 minutes) is crammed with good music, the influences ranging from Zappa, Gentle Giant, Pierre Moerlen's Gong to Henry Cow and Billy Cobham. Apart from guitar (electric & acoustic), bass, drums, tuned percussion (vibra-& xylophone) and a brass section the band plays some rather unusual instruments like didgeridoo, harp and the wonderful too seldom played bass-trombone! Let's see the menu:

Clacos O, a short spacy intro....leads into Untung Untungan, maybe the highlight of the EP, with eleven minutes of polyrhythmic galore featuring xylophone work à la Ruth Underwood and a twisted brass section in the tradition of the Grand Wazoo, plus elaborated solos for guitar, harp and a special mention for the big fat bass-trombone lines, my absolute favourite instrument on this record! echo bass line starts the interlude Glacos 1 Notre mère a tous, a short quiet piece with influences from Gentle Giant and Gong, again with excellent tuned percussion arrangements and some acoustic guitar and didgeridoo. The second main dish (10:23) is Le vautour de mars, the mars vulture, a funky bird that would not have been out of place on Billy Cobham's Crosscurrents, an excellent funky groove composition with monster brass on top, featuring great solos for guitar, harp, trombone and trumpet and a nice triologue between the guitar, muted trumpet and muted trombone in Wazoo territory. The last two-part composition, Bernard l'ermite, starts as a relaxed groove with drums and brass and builds up tention while the vibraphone plays a short repetitive motive against the brass section followed by an UncleMeatish percussion theme and a Zappaish guitar solo. The second part builds up into a polyrhythmic frenzy, alternating with a nice slower theme for bass-trombone and whistling, a theme which could have occured in a Sergio Leone western.

An absolutely stunning debut for Camembert : the musicianship and quality of the compositions are high and mature. My only concern : some passages (mainly in the Mars Vulture) are a little too predictable and I'd wish that the band gets a little crazier  in the future and leaves the (exellent) influences behind.

Alucard | 4/5 |


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