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Richard Pinhas

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Richard Pinhas Chronolyse album cover
3.65 | 42 ratings | 10 reviews | 19% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1978

Songs / Tracks Listing

- Variations Sur Le Theme de Bene Gesserit :
1. Variation I (2:22)
2. Variation II (2:15)
3. Variation III (1:36)
4. Variation IV (1:44)
5. Variation V (1:35)
6. Variation VI (2:05)
7. Variation VII (4:33)
8. Duncan Idaho (6:12)
9. Paul Atreides (30:23)

Total Time: 52:45

Line-up / Musicians

- Richard Pinhas / guitar, Moog & ARP synths, Mellotron, composer, co-producer

- Didier Batard / bass (9)
- François Auger / percussion (9)

Releases information

Artwork: Patrick Jelin

LP Cobra ‎- COB 37.015 (1978, France)
LP Bureau B ‎- BB 291 (2018, Germany)

CD Cuneiform Records ‎- Rune 30 CDX (1991, US)
CD Bureau B ‎- BB 291 (2018, Germany)

Digital album

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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RICHARD PINHAS Chronolyse ratings distribution

(42 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(45%)
Good, but non-essential (31%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

RICHARD PINHAS Chronolyse reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Pinhas' usual signature in electronic, textural drone-spheres. All the variations are taken from the same thematic that can be sum up in a few words: timeless repetition and superposition of events. For this conceptual album Pinhas explores the new synth materials, technologies. It offers a very clean, "cold" atmosphere to the composition, rather near to Kraftwerk's sound during their golden era, however the music is different in style. The gradual, repetitive process used in Variation V indicates a similar approach to T.D's sequencer ostinato. Fripp's guitar influence is gone in favor of short "hypnotic" electronic collages. . I like the structure of theses variations, culminating into mysterious soundscapes. Mostly spacey-type, the electronic "loops" are not really various but efficient and truly magnetic. This musical leading line is developed until "Paul Atreiches" which clearly announces a return to Heldon's tradition, icluding rising molecular "cosmic" / fractal noises and chaotic guitar passages. psychologically fascinating and plenty of neurotic-static-nervous sound motives. Among Pinhas most consistent albums in solo.
Review by Kazuhiro
4 stars Credit with "Dedicate it to all the SF freak" has been described in this album that hits the second work of Richard Pinhus announced in 1978.

The musician and listeners of Prog Rock are guessed that the rate of the book on SF and the fan for material was high in the 70's.

It was an element that Pinhus's the having especially worked especially imagines internal space though a lot of material overflowed in the world including various stories as for the element of SF. It might have been a challenge to the world where not the element like the fantasy and the space opera, etc. but New Wave and cyberpunks were reminiscent.

It is originally quoted from the name of the stage that appears in "The Iron Dream" where Heldon by which he was working is drawn by Norman Spinrad. Whether the original world was sent to the world by catching music from the viewpoint of Kon a very Pinhus futuristic element if it thinks from such respect and uniting the sound of his violence guitar might be understood.

When this album was made, Pinhus obtained the idea from one work. "Dune" that hit the work of the representative of Frank Herbert was a work that had been written in 1965. Pinhus establishes the creation of the tune based on this work.

This work was a work that took various thought while drawing the human race's groping and evolution. "Paul Atreides" is a boy who corresponds to the hero of the story. And, "Duncan Idaho" is a military aide of the clan of Atreides. And, "Bene Gesserit" is a name of the race of the woman who has ESP.

It is a very reformative album that develops the composition of the tune with analog machine parts that makes "Rhizosphere" of the former work a radical further in the flow of his creation. And, it is a very popular album with a very high-quality work simultaneously in the work of his Solo album. And, the fact for which this album had been made before "Interface" is deep the interest.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars This was actually Richard's first solo album recorded in 1976, but he didn't release it until 1978. This album pays homage to the book "Dune" a favourite of Pinhas'.

The first 7 tracks accounting for over 22 minutes feature Richard offering up a variety of electronic soundscapes with his moog front and center.TANGERINE DREAM came to mind at times and while this is pretty good it's the final song at over 30 minutes that makes this album a must for me. Richard's HELDON band mates help out on this one with Auger on percussion and Batard on bass. Pinhas offers up some Fripp-like solos as well as plenty of mellotron and electronics.This song would fit well on a HELDON album no doubt.

I think I still prefer "Ice Age" but this is where his solo career started, and that 30 minute epic makes this a 4 star record for me.

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars Second solo album from the future ex-Heldon leader, Chronolyse is a surprisingly accessible album that was recorded in the summer of 76 (and therefore BEFORE this solo debut Rhizosphere) but not released until 78, around the demise of Heldon. Indeed Chronolyse sees the Heldon members of Didier Batard (bass) and François Auger on drums and percs: the result is a very Tangerine Dream-like soundscape and if it wasn't for Pinhas' typical guitar, you could almost believe that you were in Berlin. Coming with B&W televised artwork, this album was released on the Cobra label and has been reissued on CD in the early 90's on the excellent Cuneiform label.

Opening on the seven variations of the theme of Bene Gesserit, we are in a typical TD/Schulze mid-70's realm where the sequencers are now fully developed and provide some rhythm and the whole thing is much less brutal than the Heldon material. The seven pieces pass by fairly quickly, each providing a different ambiance, but all are the result of Pinhas alone on his Moog, as is the Duncan Idaho piece that fills the rest of the album's A-side, well in the .same sonic galaxy. This first side is well recommended to Rubicon, Blackdance and Stratosfear fans.

The flipside is taken up by the sidelong 30-mins Paul Atreides track, in which the other two Heldon members help out, and allow for Pinhas to pick up his guitar and play us some of his Fripp-inspired solos The live-recorded track starts out much like the other two, with lots of moog, but consistently crescendos to add bass, drums, guitars and loads of Mellotron. But what one has to listen to mostly is Pinhas' low and insidious guitar doing slow painful wailing throughout most of the length of the piece. Despites a few lengths, this is great stuff that should be discovered by all progheads, especially those fascinated with 70's electronic prog.

Review by zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Richard Pinhas is known as the "French Fripp" for his guitar playing, but his solo albums are generally dominated by synthesizers. The leader of Heldon recorded this album, his first, in 1976 but it was not released until 1978. The song titles refer to the book Dune. The majority of the first half of the album consists of "Variations Sur le Theme de Bene Gesserit" which is diveded into seven different tracks. Basically, these are sequencer pieces with no guitar or drums (unlike Heldon). The most interesting and memorable of the seven tracks is part III with it's hypnotic and rhythmic sequencer patterns.

"Duncan Idaho" fills out the first half and is generally more interesting than the seven previous tracks. It's the most melodic thing on the whole album. The song opens with metallic sequencer sounds similar to Tangerine Dream of the time. Repeated melodies change notes and more rhythmic sequencer patterns join them. You hear a droning, spacey synth sound towards the end. The rest of the album is made up of the 30 minute "Paul Atreides" which sounds more like Heldon due to the presence of drums, bass and Pinhas' guitar.

It begins very spacey and ambient sounding. It starts to get more noisy and trippy as sustained guitar notes first enter after 5 minutes. Becomes less noisy and cymbals start to enter after 7 minutes. Everything is fairly slow paced and laid-back up to this point. You start to hear some Mellotron after 10 minutes as the drummer gets a little more loose in his playing. Double-tracked guitars start to solo away. Before 20 minutes the drums die out. Lots of trippy and sci-fi sounding synth sounds follow.

I much prefer Heldon to Pinhas solo. For some reason I don't like some of the synth tones on his solo albums, whereas I don't have a problem with them on Heldon's albums. The presence of drums and guitar in Heldon also helps. The last two tracks are good but the first seven just sound like sequencer experiments, not anything you would really remember after hearing once. This is a good album just not great, not anything I would want to listen to more than once a year. I'll give this a 3.5 but can't bring myself to give it 4 stars. So 3 stars.

Review by Dobermensch
3 stars 'Chronolyse' is a super analogue electronic album. Many may find it too repetitive to be of much interest, but if you really tune into it you're sure to get swept along with those cold emotionless keyboards that travel in continuous waves and loops. Very European in sound and structure.

Entirely instrumental as almost all Pinhas / Heldon recordings are, this is probably one of the coolest, most laid back recordings he produced. There's no Heldon aggression - nothing frantic. 'Chronolyse' sounds almost robotic in a Kraftwerk 'Die Mensch Maschine' kind of way. This is probably the album it's most similar to.

'Chronolyse' uses electronic sounds that are similar to those used by Chris Carter from Throbbing Gristle around '79.

Highly recommended to fans of Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, Michael Garrison, Zanov and Neuronium.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Far more synth-dominated than his concurrent work in Heldon, Richard Pinhas' Chronolyse is an electronic tribute to Frank Herbert's famous Dune saga. In terms of compositional style, the album takes its lead from Klaus Schulze (who would record his own Dune album some years later) - half the album consists of "busy" pieces with plenty of electronic tweeterings going on, whilst the other half (the track Paul Atredes) is slower and more ambient, growing gently towards thunderous climaxes towards the end. Schulze fans interested in Pinhas' work might find this one a nice place to start before exploring his Heldon work, whilst Heldon fans will enjoy hearing Pinhas produce an album that doesn't rely on Robert Fripp-inspired guitar heroics.
Review by Modrigue
3 stars Initially recorded in 1976 before "Rhizosphère", "Chronolyse" is in fact Richard Pinhas's solo debut. Not as varied and inspired as HELDON's music, the first half of the record is dominated by synthesizers, whereas the second half displays an atmosphere similar to the french electronic band's, however lighter. As you may have noticed, the tracks name are a tribute to Frank Herbert's Dune.

"Variations Sur Le Theme de Bene Gesserit" consist mainly in the same minimalist loops played at different tempos with the Moog and passed through two Revox echo generators. There are seven variations listed, but I personally really count only five of them. The very fast 1st and 4th variations create a pulsating hypnotic effect. On the contrary, the 2nd and 6th variations "Variation II" are much slower. The theme resemble a little the one used for the "Bolero" suite on HELDON's album "Stand By", one year later. The 3rd variation is mid-tempo, while the 5th one is the most original by mixing slow and fast sequences. The 7th variation is the longest and maybe the most interesting, as it features additional sound effects. "Duncan Idaho" consists also in a slow electronic loop that may have been used as a draft for HELDON's "Bolero" suite too. A little repetitive, but enjoyable.

The 30 minutes epic "Paul Atreides" sounds more like typical HELDON. The reason is that band members Didier Batard, at bass, and François Auger, at drums, participate at this track. Pinhas also adds guitar and mellotron to weave landscapes devastated by war, like on planet Dune. Although a bit long and dissonant, this futuristic drone composition is more varied, disturbed and immersive than the other ones. Nice. Where did I leave my spaceship?

Despite lengthy passages, "Chronolyse" is overall pleasant and more convincing than Richard Pinhas' first official solo release, "Rhizosphère". If you enjoy HELDON or repetitive electronic music, then this album is quite recommended.

Review by kev rowland
3 stars In 2015, to tie in with the 50th anniversary of Frank Herbert's classic 'Dune', Cuneiform Records undertook the first-ever vinyl reissue of Richard Pinhas's second album, 'Chronolyse'. Back in 1974, Pinhas received his PhD in Philosophy from the Sorbonne, where he had studied with French philosopher Gilles Deleuze and written his dissertation, 'Science-Fiction, Inconscient et Autres Machins', on the intersections of time, time manipulation, science fiction and analogue electronic music. That same year he founded Heldon, a band that fused his searing guitar with experimental electronics to revolutionize rock music in France. Pinhas had been deeply affected by Frank Herbert's Dune novels and the complete universe that they contained, and wanted to dedicate a full solo album to Dune. Acquiring a Moog P3 and a new Polymoog to accompany two Revox A700s he had installed in his home Heldon Studio, he spent January to June 1976, recording direct to tape. Originally, he had thought to do an all-Moog album, but instead, he went into the Davout Studio with his guitar and his Heldon colleagues, Didier Batard (drums) and Fran'ois Auger (bass) to record their instruments over the Polymoog track.

The result is something that sounds as if it has come straight from Germany as opposed to France, as this is incredibly reminiscent of Tangerine Dream and early Kraftwerk. There are repeated rhythms and melodies, and with just minor tweaks one can imagine this being a hit in dance clubs through Europe. These repetitions are quite hypnotic, and are used as a base for other melodies to be placed over the top as the music drills into the psyche of the listener. I find it strange that I am coming to this album so late after the original release, as any of this style of keyboard music should be searching this out.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Chronolyse is the masterpiece of electronic progressiv music in France ... underground, and music dangerous fiction of dune ... Paul Atreides is beautiful ... The variations is a beautiful melody ... Ex HELDON, Richard Pinhas is a great musicians ... this is the idol of the french musici ... (read more)

Report this review (#50031) | Posted by | Tuesday, October 4, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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