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L'HIRONDELLE

Asgard

Prog Folk


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Asgard L'Hirondelle album cover
2.48 | 8 ratings | 2 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1976

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Sur L'i Sur L'o
2. Automne
3. Au Chant De L'Aloutte
4. La Payse
5. La Branle Village
6. La Dame Des Landes
7. L'Hirondelle
8. La Fille Du Coupeur De Paille
9. Rossingnolet Sulvi De Ha Rol
10. La Lurette Sulvi De Goublin
11. Les Gars De Senneville
12. La Dames Des Landes

Line-up / Musicians

- Patrick Grandpierre / guitar, vocals
- William Lawday / bass, violin
- Bernard Darsh / percussion, vocal, flute


Releases information

LP WB 56288

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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M2U Records
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Hifly Sound
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To A Golden AgeTo A Golden Age
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Imago MundiImago Mundi
Progressive France 1996
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Wolfmond Production
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ASGARD L'Hirondelle ratings distribution


2.48
(8 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
0%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(0%)
0%
Good, but non-essential (50%)
50%
Collectors/fans only (38%)
38%
Poor. Only for completionists (12%)
12%

ASGARD L'Hirondelle reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
3 stars Asgard's first album in no doubt harder to find than its successor, having never found (to my knowledge, anyway) a Cd re-issue. Asgard was still a trio when they recorded this almost trad-folk album, where the majority of tracks belong to the public domain and are part of the traditional repertoire of many folk artistes. But Asgard does actualise all this tracks while remaining fairly faithful to the original spirit of the songs. Not only is there a rock drums (when necessary), but the bass play is often enhancing the enthralling medieval ambiances, and the odd use of synths (which will much more present on their next album) layers bringing a well needed modern touch. A naïve pastoral artwork and the recording sessions in Paris are more contrasting evidence giving you this cool mix of influences. On the English front, Asgard would be more of much proggier version of Steeleye Span, avoiding the permanent jigs trap.

If you ever wondered what French trad folk might sound like without veering in the horrendous Bal Musette with accordions or the endless waltz of jigs and other tacky clichés, Malicorne, La Bamboche and Asgard are your winning trio, with Asgard being the more modern aesthetically speaking. From the first side, I will point out one of my all-time fave Automne with the superb Colchique Dans Les Prés air. Asgard did take care to hava continuity by placing two different versions of La Dame Des Landes on each side of the vinyl even if the narration on the first side's version is close to being cheesy, but nothing appalling, sounding much like but much better and less corny than Magna Carta's Lord Of The Ages.

The second side is more personal to Asgard, as some of the traditional tracks are extended by their own compositions (this is more than arranging or adapting, IMHO), showing a more confident approach, but none of the tracks go beyond the 4'30" mark.

While L'Hirondelle is only Asgard's first step to Tradition & Renouveau (their second and last), it is obviously more naïve, more even, but clearly less accomplished as they played it safe here. If you are into semi-medieval folk but not looking for a purist approach, this type of album is for you.

Review by ClemofNazareth
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk Researcher
2 stars A French Amazing Blondel!

This is the album that convinced me to quit trying to review French-language music. I don’t understand a lick of it, and even when trying to discern/translate some of the lyrics the idioms and nuances are unfortunately lost. I get that most of these seem to be traditional folk tunes, but really that doesn’t help much since those are the kinds of songs most likely to have difficult-to- understand idioms.

The one thing that surprised me was the occasional emergence of electronic keyboards. Also I’m not sure what’s going on with the (obligatory) flute, but it sounds very tinny and strangely amplified. Not unpleasant, but definitely unusual.

The harmonies are pleasant enough to listen to, but if you can’t follow the lyrics then you tend to notice more that they veer closely to barbershop quartet territory at times, and particularly on “Automne” and “La Payse”.

With apologies to our French members, the spoken tracks like “La Dame des Landes” remind me of a cross between the wonderful Armando Tirelli ‘La Profeta’ album and an Inspector Clouseau dream sequence. All in good humor.

“l'hirondelle” has some beautiful acoustic guitar on the other hand, and “La Dames Des Landes” ends with a synth swirl that’s pretty unusual for a folk album.

So I’m not writing this to take shots at the album, nor to promote it since my listening skills give me no ability to judge a musical work without a clear understanding of its lyrics and meaning. The point is more to raise awareness than “Asgard” was a fairly common band name at one time, and unless you are a French-speaking folk prog fan then it is highly likely this isn’t the Asgard you are looking for. As prog folk it is mildly adventurous, but for the most part seems to fall along fairly traditional folk lines. For that I’ll say two stars and take my leave.

peace

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