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Lard Free Gilbert Artman's Lard Free  album cover
3.77 | 73 ratings | 10 reviews | 23% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1973

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Warinobaril (3:46)
- 12 Ou 13 Juillet Que Je Sais D'Elle (8:48) :
2. Part One (5:13)
3. Part Two (3:35)
4. Honfleur Écarlate (4:48)
5. Acide Framboise (6:45)
6. Livarot Respiration (7:50)
7. Culturez-Vous Vous Même (4:40)

Total time 36:37

Line-up / Musicians

- François Mativet / guitars
- Philippe Bolliet / saxophones
- Hervé Eyhani / bass, ARP synth
- Gilbert Artman / drums, vibes, grand piano

Releases information

Artwork: Jean-Louis Guinochet

LP Vamp Records ‎- VP 59 500 (1973, France)

CD Spalax ‎- CD 14225 (1994, France)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy LARD FREE Gilbert Artman's Lard Free Music

LARD FREE Gilbert Artman's Lard Free ratings distribution

(73 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(23%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (29%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

LARD FREE Gilbert Artman's Lard Free reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars 4,5 stars really!!

Lard Free's debut is stunning , full of energy and deeply enjoyable. If you can picture Sabbath's Geezer Butler (first two albums) playing with King Fripp, Brian Eno and maybe a less virtuoso Bruford making an album , you might have an idea of what this album sounds like! Sometimes the Eno/Fripp influences are overpowering the rest of the influences but this is relatively minor. Those long instumental tracks rolling around a superb bass and repetitive drumming is simply fascinating, may sound to some as jams but not quite as this is more to do with minimalism (Terry Riley style).

Hartman's group is along with Heldon one of main bands that drew heavily on Krautrock to the point that they are often categorized as such although both bands/projects are French. So if you are into Krautrock , you know what you have to do!

Review by Trotsky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The music on Gilbert Altman's Lard Free is psychedelic jazz-rock that tends to start off deceptively simple before moving into a less comfortable, often discordant zone. There is an acidic, improvised feel to a lot of the music that makes it more a direct descendant of Jimi Hendrix jazz-rock flirtations (a la Still Raining on Electric Ladyland) than any recognisable school of fusion or free jazz. I do feel though that a little more structure would have turned this album into a more essential offering.

Warinobaril sets the tone by riding on a relaxed bass figure, while brass and then all manner of viciously distorted industrial sounding sound effects build to a crescendo. This formula informs 12 ou 13 Juillet qui je Sais D'Elle, an 8 minute excursion into distorted spacey synth soundscapes that segues into some ferocious improvised jazz-rock and is also repeated on Monfleur Ecarlate.

Acide Framboise is the most "hippie jam" type song of them all, probably cos of the bluesy guitar leads from Francois Mativet ... there's some fine musicianship on display here, not least from the multi-talented Artman himself, but you really have to be in the "zone" to dig it. Indeed a sober jazz fan is likely to lose patience when, after the six minute jam concludes, the very next piece Livarot Respiration begins with the exact same bass line, although thankfully its atmosphere is different thanks to the skillful use of vibraphone and saxes to create an ultra-mellow vibe.

To tell the truth, there's a little too much feedback-drenched improvisation for my liking, and this album has gradually slipped down in my estimation. ... 55% on the MPV scale

Review by philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This first Gilbert Artman's Lard Free is an enigmatic, colourful, weird electro-jazzy rock essay. The insistent, lugubruous bass / drum rhythm is a trademark also used in the second and third album. The jazzy improvisations dominate the ensemble and the minimalist electronic arrangements are ponctual. "Warindbaril" is curiously psychedelic with eccentric sax parts, tortured, violent sounding like guitars, monotonous hypno bass patterns. The second track delivers an evocative, dreamy like soundscape for sustained electronic pulses, ciruclar menacing effects (closed to Heldon) & cloudy melodic sax lines. The tune progressively rises from the obscurity A nice synthesis of acoustic / electronic sounds. "Acide Framboise" is a frenetic, totally agitated jazzy rock improvisation, with e-guitar experimentations, nervous, hypnotic sax parts and technical jazzy drums. The mysterious, floating improvised free jazz sequence of "Libarot respiration" represents the highlight of the album. Very beautiful and eerie with efficient impressionistic motifs. "Culturez vous vous mêmes" is a sinister atmosphere track with slow droning ambiences / frequences, intimate piano in the distance. A great variety of sounds, a few original ideas and a talented sense of improvisation.
Review by Mellotron Storm
5 stars This is by far my favourite LARD FREE release. What really does it for me is the Jazz element on this one. Gilbert had played in a Free-Jazz band prior to forming LARD FREE, and so those influences come to the fore on this album. The next two studio albums they put out are more electronic falvoured in the HELDON style. It's really cool as well to have such pleasant music suddenly be crashed by dissonant sounds, this happens on this record a lot. By the way the sax is a nice touch throughout this album.

"Warinabaril" is my favourite song on here.The bass / light drum melody is very catchy as it gets louder with added sax a minute in.Then a minute later the guitar absolutely trashes the sound with some screaming and ripping sounds. "12 Ou 13 Juillet Que Je Sais D'Elle" is divided into 2 parts. Part 1 begins with reserved sax sounds as synths come in and build. Electronics are added after 3 1/2 minutes bringing some dissonance to the proceedings. Part 2 has a jazzy climate as bass throbs lightly with dissonant guitar. Sax after 1 1/2 minutes as the song developes an eastern flavour.

"Honfleur Ecarlate" opens with some nice bass lines before drums and sax join in.The guitar after 1 1/2 minutes is raw,distorted and out of control. "Acide Framboise" features electronics as guitar and drums join in after a minute. I really like this one. The guitar makes some noise 5 1/2 minutes in. "Livarat Respirated" opens with vibes as bass comes in. Sax 1 1/2 minutes in. Guitar comes and goes. This is a very slow moving track. "Culturez-Vous Vous- Memes" features electronics that sort of hum but then there are also waves of sound too. It stops 4 minutes in as piano tinkles away briefly to end it.

Like Sean I believe this one is a 4.5 star album and a very influential one at that.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Lard Free is French psychedelic minimalism band, formed around drummer and keyboards player Gilbert Artman. He was the only constant member of the band on their few next albums.

Music on their debut album is perfectly composed angular rhythm structures-based synth/rhythm compositions with free-jazz sax improvs over them. All this mix sounds heavy, spacey, psychedelic, minimalistic - and excellent. I am not sure if this music could be labelled as "krautrock" , or let say - it's a French krautrock. You can easily hear there influences from Terry Riley, very jazzy drumming and guitar improvs, and at the same time almost Magma-like Orffian atmosphere.

Six quite short compositions sound all different and absolutely fresh even now! Rare and very successful combination of early spacey psychedelic synth-rock, highest level free-jazz and some neo-classical minimalism.

Excellent work from one of the best French jazzy psychedelic bands from 70-s. Very recommended!

My rating is 4,5, rounded to 5!

Review by Guldbamsen
5 stars Sneak attack from the heavens

In many ways jazz and Krautrock are highly reminiscent of each other. They both seek out the obscure in the music, those notes that hide away from the conspicuous. They share a love of the improvised in music as well - letting the mighty gods of interplay decide which way the winds blow, and then pursue the hell out of them on some of the wildest windswept journeys you´ll ever hear in your life.

Where these waters meet, this album originated. -Brought into being by those parenting cultures, and then breaking completely free in what has quickly become one of my favourite musical hybrids. Whilst sharing many facets with the freejazz of the late 60s - especially in the frivolous handling of the saxophone by Philippe Bolliet, - the feel of those early Germanic explorations in electronics also flavours quite a bit of this record. This is one of the most compelling things to me personally, and it was also these electronics that drew me in to begin with. This album is not what I would call an easy listen - not at all, and I had some difficulties breaking through the rather avant garde like surface of it, when I first started listening to it. It had me crawling up the walls with its creepy froggy sounds that seemed to come out of nowhere, and those manic saxophone sections were far too haphazard and unharnessed to possibly be of any use in the music. But then I popped it on one evening after a long day, and I remember the sky was all bloody and black, like it was divided in utter beauty and pitch black evil. I was tired and irritated, and felt my head was somewhere, but not exactly there - not attached to me in any way - just flying about out there in the perimeter. Suddenly this album started to make sense. It felt organic and purposeful, although purpose might be a bit of a stretch when we´re talking about this kind of music, but for what it´s worth, I felt the world speaking back to me in this dramatic scenery and the accompanying music. The otherwise convoluted nature of the tracks unfolded before me like backwards origami, and everything fell into place.

This album is largely built up around the absolute freedom of expression - meaning there are no boundaries and no "right" way to play the instruments, - and even though this freejazz mantra is right at the front seat of its creation, - the music coming out of the speakers acts very orchestrated and in tune with everything. Jumping from minimalistic grooves generated by the motorik laden drum work, not entirely unlike that you´ll find on a NEU! album from around the same time, - to the altogether more happening events of the lead instruments such as the electric guitar and saxophone - the textures of Lard Free´s debut differentiate between these wonderfully crafted musical entities. Just like in the aforementioned NEU! - there´s a certain natural progression attached to all these tracks, and the easiest way of describing this is by comparing it to a fountain or a cornucopia. Like turning on a faucet, and then the music just pours out freely without any hesitations or preconceived ideas. Its just there, and that is something which I find pretty amazing, because when you make music like this, there is an infinite amount of things that can go horribly wrong, but here it just doesn´t. It clicks. It happens and conducts itself on its own premise, and sometimes I´ve wondered whether the instruments are playing the musicians and not the other way around.

This is Gilbert Artman´s project and what he does even better than drumming, playing the piano or sculpturing the cryptic sounding synths - is indeed acting like a psychedelic jazz head honcho from the outer rim of Krautrock - creating one of the most enigmatic and unique debut albums I have ever encountered. Much like Zappa was the conductor of his music, Artman too develops this album through the inspiration of the other people involved - swaying the outcome like a genuine classical conductor standing tall in front of the band wearing a black and white penguin costume waving a little stick maniacally around. I think he had an initial idea with this record - he wanted to make something free and in the vein of what unfolded, and then all these other French saboteurs came into the picture with loads of ideas and alternating perspectives - delivering the final spices to the dish. Just like Zappa, I think Artman did an outstanding job of keeping this project focused on the music at hand - and not only streamlined the whole thing, but also maintained that original spark that once originated somewhere in the embers of his own head.

One of my most beloved things about this album is that whenever I play it, all of my surroundings seem to vanish in favour of the crimson blooded sky, that I told you about before. The colours of this angry and violent heaven slowly and quite beautifully cascade onto this music in the most wonderful and incomprehensible way - and I´m often left with an impression of having survived a sneak attack from a sunset trying to drown me in a blood-red glaze and the appropriate music to go with such a thing.

Review by Sagichim
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Lard Free is quite an interesting band, they never produce the same album twice, but always headed for another direction after they finish. Their debut album released in 1973 is a mix of styles, it's mainly dealing with progressive electronic but holds some other elements like a Frippian guitar kind of playing. I would say the best comparison i can make is Heldon, it can be very minimalistic at times but also can go to Krautrock realms. For my taste this is a mixed bag, there are few great tracks and few ok tracks in which i can find my self dozing off or getting bored. It has all the elements i need to be fully blown, cool bass, experimental keys, distorted guitars, and a great addition of the saxophone, but it just didn't happen.

Judging the album by the first track, this is a real winner! this is exactly the kind of stuff i'm looking for, going from easy sounding and climaxing to a wild jam. Featuring a nice bass line, hypnotic kind of rhythm, great sax, playing some atmospheric lines, top that with wild guitar that will make Mr. Fripp applauding and some screaming sax... this is my cup of tea. There are few more parts in this vein that gets me very excited but what holds me from enjoying this all the way, are some mediocare parts where the keys or the saxophone takes the lead and while it's nice, it's actually not that great, it lacks some punch but than again i guess the band is not trying to have a punch all the time, it's minimalistic and quite atmospheric. The last two tracks are my least favorite, they are atmospheric and although one contain nice sax playing, it doesn't hold my interest at all, not to mention the last track which i can summarize as nothing!

The album has a huge amount of potential, the playing is always good and the overall mix of styles is pretty successful, and i can see why there are some very positive reviews. So if you like all the elements i've mentioned, this could be a very very good addition to your collection, but for my taste it's not enough and the music kind of goes over my head. it's 3.2 to be exact by my scale.

Review by Progfan97402
4 stars Lard Free is one of those groups I've heard of for years, but never tried any of their albums, until now. I first knew of them in 2002 after buying the Clearlight Symphony album and noticed Gilbert Artman appears on the album, and did some internet research about the backgrounds of some of the musicians involved (aside from the Gong members which I was already very familiar with then) and found out about Lard Free.

This is the 1973 debut by this project by Gilbert Artman. This is one group that can be easily called eclectic prog, progressive electronic, jazz rock/fusion, and avant prog as you get elements of all of those in their music, so the music ends up being considered Krautrock without even originating in Germany, and it's really difficult how much Artman had picked up on the German scene. It's easier to know he likely picked up on the British prog and the American jazz rock/fusion scene. King Crimson is a rather obvious influence, the guitarist here often sounds like Robert Fripp crossed with John McLaughin, he'd do a lot of those McLaughin-like leads but then include Fripp-like sustains and distortions. Heldon is another comparison, but you have to bear in mind in 1973 Richard Pinhas was in transition from Schizo, a psychedelic band, and Heldon, who had yet to see any albums as of 1973 (although Pinhas does appear on Lard Free's second album, I'm Around About Midnight, solidifying the Heldon comparison). The first cut features a bass line, with some distorted lead guitar and jazzy arrangements. The next piece is a two part, starting off as a purely electronic piece played on an ARP 2600 synthesizer, before going into fusion overdrive that sounds like Crimson meets Mahavishnu. "Acide Framboise" is a nice piece with this big, juicy ARP 2600 synthesizer that completely dominate the piece while "Livarot Rispartion" is a nice, laid back, pleasant piece dominated by Artman's vibraphone, with bass and sax. The last piece is simply low-key droning synth that might not be to everyone's liking (might be too minimalist for some), but I enjoy it. Why have I not tried Lard Free earlier? I don't regret purchasing their albums one bit.

Review by admireArt
2 stars Experiments in the average 70's Krautrock/jazz scene.

Free-Jazz and pre-stoner material that has been surpassed by more focused free-jazz and "stoner" (remember Hendrix) musicians then and now. I guess the big thrill is that Lard Free comes from France not Germany. Besides that, this their first release in 1973, will hardly amuse anyone in 2015, certainly not me.

I suppose its charms could be forced by the kind of ear-weed you use, but it really has to be a very strong one, the kind that makes you enjoy losing your time with such a lukewarm and effortless effort.

Forgettable and innocuous.

**2 (the guitar and wind works are the only thing from rating it 1) PA stars.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Actually I like Gilbert Artman's later stuff - community of plenty of saxophonists a. o. called Urban Sax - better. But on this record there are six quite different psychedelic trips - sometimes close to krautrock, sometimes close to free-jazz and acid-jazz, sometimes close to space rock and s ... (read more)

Report this review (#70294) | Posted by Rainer Rein | Thursday, February 23, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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