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Angipatch - Vie CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.51 | 11 ratings

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4 stars Angipatch is another fascinating chapter in the rollicking adventure of French progressive rock, a style admittedly not everyone's cup of tea but the French prefer 'café' anyway! There is no doubt that the majority of their bands preferred singing in their native tongue as opposed to hit the world stage in English. Truth is the French generally sing in English with impossible accents that distract immensely from any pleasure derived. So it's not just a patriotic thing! What makes this album particularly intriguing is that it was created in 1981, a time when world-wide prog was, for all intended purposes dead in the water. Obviously, this release went absolutely nowhere, an entire fan base wiped out by punk, new wave and pop sludge. Certainly amateurish by today's overproduced standards, the sound is a tad muddy which only adds to its modest charm, a bit similar to Pulsar's debut Pollen (a huge personal favorite). Imagine a heady mix of lush symphonics, courtesy of Christian Bettoum's arsenal of keyboards, including what sounds like the Elka string synth (an Italian version of mellotron) and some masterful electric guitar flurries from Andre Paccoud, whose leads sound more like Ant Phillips circa the Knife than anyone else. The bass is up- front and forward (Gilles Masson) and drummer Francois Ceggara keeps things propulsive and rhythmic. For many demanding purists, the only real drawback is the skeletal sound, especially prevalent on the vocal tracks that can be a regretful distraction. Truth is vocalist Daniel Gandrey can sing but is hobbled by a lack of dynamic recording that keeps him quite flat. On the wild "Elle Fut la Terre", the vocalized choir work is quite splendid, so the talent was definitely there. One is reminded of a similar sonic situation with the nevertheless masterful Pentacle album, "la Cle des Songes". The title track is quite surely the highpoint of this remarkable musical document, a sweltering ripple of bass-led and synth decorated piece that pulsates like a heartbeat gone haywire. But all the tracks are more than enjoyable, with a recurring "Les Larmes du Temps" series that interludes four times between the longer tracks. Other highlights include "Le Jour se Lève", "J'ai le Pouvoir" et "Combien de Fois" but the core remains « Elle Fut la Terre », « Vie » and « Nouvelle Vie ».

There are no weak links other than the sound, which to this writer has no bearing on the quality of the material and the musicianship. It's the musical intent that matters and not this never ending lust for perfection that offers nothing else than plastic and flavorless perversity. A tremendously rich and raw nugget of French Prog , done with undeniable passion and genuine courage. They knew this was not going to hit the highlife but they carried on. Just for that, this deserves massive appreciation. A lovely, wholesome and pure recording.

4.5 lives

tszirmay | 4/5 |


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