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Philippe Besombes - Libra CD (album) cover


Philippe Besombes


Progressive Electronic

3.70 | 17 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars One time member of French mentalist band 'Pôle' and 'Hydravion', Philippe Besombes is probably more well known due to the 'Nurse With Wound' list rather than his actual recordings.

Hallucinogenic substances surely played a large part in this sprawling weird album from '75. Being nowhere near as electronic as his contemporary releases with said bands, it still sounds incredibly unusual, particularly considering he was only only 24 years of age.

Comparisons vary from Alvin Curran, MEV, Stockhausen and Xenakis, only a bit more accessible. Who on earth is this guy with his echoing bells, tinkling piano and almost native American vocals? Well, apparently he was a big friend of Jean Michel Jarre, although I find that hard to believe...

More than anything 'Libra' is a Psychedelic album, laden with a whole lot of very unusual effects and atonal passages for a 1975 recording. The only 'normal' tune would have to be 'Tis A Song' which is so ordinary it sounds as though it's from a Max Bygraves album complete with French vocals but thankfully only lasts 2 mins 33secs. However, even that one has the thin reedy voice thrust through electronic filters.

In many ways listening to 'Libra' is like having big soft alien hypodermic needles inserted very slowly into your brain. Sprinklings of piano and fat bloops of electronics occasioned by the odd effected electric guitar squelch about like Abominable Snowmen having a party in Anchorage.

Certainly not an album for the casual listener, 'Libra' demands close attention and even then you may find it VERY annoying.

Dobermensch | 3/5 |


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