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Fractale - Live Suranné CD (album) cover





3.66 | 40 ratings

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RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars Since when I have listened to the short samples provided when this band was suggested for inclusion I have liked them. Later the band founder Julian Julien sent me a link to the whole album and what? Its only defect is the length. It's an EP recorded live and I'm really impressed by the skill demonstrated by the players.

First of all this is an orchestral ensemble, look at the lineup. Then think to how the music is arranged to supply to the absence of bass and more traditional "rock" instruments. Let me say that I don't think that bass, guitar and keyboards are a must, but when a band sounds "rock" without using them it means that the arrangement work is excellent. I have to say that specially the opener made me think to the Italian avant band Quintorigo, but this is effectively pure Zeuhl.

Julian has mentioned Magma, Soft Machine and Pink Floyd as influencers. I have to say that I have immediately thought to Magma (otherwise this wouldn't be Zeuhl....), I can find even a bit of Soft Machine, but I have struggled a bit to find any Pink Floyd. Well, listen to "Partie XVI" and "Partie XVIII" and probably they are hidden there.

A bravo to Fractale who have just used those influences to create (good) new music. My favorite track is probably the easiest, "Partie V", because it contains spacey elements that add a touch of psychedelia to an environment that's midway between classical and jazz. I really agree with the applauses at the end of this track.

The two bonus tracks are not part of the same performance and the recording is less good than on the rest of the album, but it's not that poor. "Sans Papier" (Witout Papers, a phrase which is referred to clandestine immigrants) is more jazzy and dramatic. It's a very good track which would have been better served by different recording devices. As counterpart, it has that "live" sound that makes it a good listening experience in any case.

The second bonus "Clementine" has more Avantgarde characteristics, specially because of the intro, but this doesn't mean that it's difficult for the listener. The rhythmic part played by the tuba and probably the baritone sax (I'm not so expert tho understand exactly which is the instrument which provides this sound) together with the percussions make a sort of "tarantella" and the minor chords on which the melody is based have a very Mediterranean flavor.

It's a 4 stars for me. I hope that a full length album is released soon as this is very promising. As I have written, it's a pity that it's so short. When it finishes I'd like to have more. I think that I'll give a spin to MDK now.

octopus-4 | 4/5 |


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