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Cro Magnon


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Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars Another typical Belgian-sounding band doing RIO and Chamber Rock .This is mostly acoustic stuff , very energetic and resembles a bit Univers Zero cross-over with some gypsy jazz band and have some GMO tendencies with some of those Cuneiform RIO bands such as Miriodor or Alamaailman Vasarat. It also reminds of another Belgian band called X- Legged Sally. This album is rather austere both with the sleeve but also on the fun. Try the much different follow-up.
Report this review (#32719)
Posted Tuesday, September 7, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Cro Magnon is a band from Belgium that plays RIO chamber stuff like Univers Zero and Art Zoyd, but Cro Magnon is jazzier and lighter than those bands. However, this does make em a cheesy band. Their tunes aren't really catchy. The band offers some fine tunes that will certainly be liked by fans of chamber RIO. Violins are mostly noticed, but so are saxophones. The style changes from folk to classic. In short, if you are in favour of RIO chamber like the bands mentioned above, you should absolutely obtain this record. You shall not be dissapointed!
Report this review (#42472)
Posted Thursday, August 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Belgium has (or had) quite lot of this kind of urban-chamber-rock bands. This genre had become typical there maybe because of The Greatest of The Chamber Rockers - Univers Zero were (and are) from Belgium. But I'm afraid that anyone of these bands can reach near the artistic qualities of UZ. This urban-chamber band Cro Magnon has existed in this world about fifteen years and they have released three albums (the last one is recorded together with their collegues from Netherlands called BUB). Zapp! is Cro Magnon's first effort from 1992 and released at quite little recording company Carbon 7 led by ex-Univers-Zero-members Guy Segers and Alan Ward. Actually I like Cro Magnon's second album Bull much better than this first one because of more richful choice of instruments and guests. The most interesting (and often quite funny) on this recording are sax and violin parts. Keyboards and samplers are often unfortunately too sterile (on their next - Bull?-album fortunately the keyboards are absolutely OK). Anyway I found some favourites from this item - Sahib, Cleo and Jacues Tati (hommage to the great filmmaker?). Quite interesting to discover but I'd recommend firstly their next one - Bull?
Report this review (#89151)
Posted Thursday, September 7, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Zapp !is real Belgian world music. The Brussels metropole is transformed into music by a contemporary folk-orchestra that mingles traditional elements with electronics. Different areas of the capitol where a source of inspiration : the African quarter, a busy boulevard, a trainstation, a slaughterhouse, the quarter of the poor,....The result is a colourful and exciting cd were bagpipes are combined with saxophones, synths, accordeon, violins, guitar, drums,...and an electric mandolin gives the whole a ritmic and sunny push. The melodies happen inside an imaginative and stimulating soundworld. There are some links with e.g. the Penguin Café Orchestra, but the music is anyway very particular, might have been a soundtrack for a movie. A Brussels movie.

An essential

A Must !! Formidable Musicians !

Report this review (#107284)
Posted Friday, January 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Another entry from the traditional Avant-Prog scene from the Flemish lands, Cro Magnon were a five-piece group from Ghent, led by multi-instrumentalist Geert Waegeman.The line-up featured two violin players, Stefan Coltura and Rik Verstrepen, along with bassist Rudy Mollekens and sax player Koen van Roy.Often these bands had no drummer and Cro Magnon were no exception.Their debut ''Zapp!'' from 1992 was released on Carbon 7,a label led by Univers Zero members Guy Segers and Alan Ward.

The album consists of 13 mainly short instrumentals with the first tracks being a fantastic combination of dark Chamber/Classical music ala UNIVERS ZERO and the melodic often jazzy quirky style of MIRIODOR.Of course it all comes up to the huge sound of the violin string section and the beautiful approach of Van Roy on saxes, accompanied by the piano lines of Waegeman.After the middle the album tends a bit more towards Classical Music in the vein of JULVERNE with double violin sections on the forefront, still piano and saxes play a major role.The atmosphere changes radically from haunting themes to pleasant passages in a blink of an eye.However this group knew how to match the dissonance of Avant/R.I.O. musicianship with some delicate harmonies here and there to present a good, balanced and more appealing package.

The band stated playing ''Urban Chamber music'' and that is pretty much what's going on ''Zapp!''.But you can add the final optimistic feeling you get after listening to this release.A nice recommendation for all fans of Jazz, Classical and Chamber music and a must-have for fans of Avant-Prog...3.5 stars.

Report this review (#614976)
Posted Saturday, January 21, 2012 | Review Permalink

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