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RICHARD PINHAS

Progressive Electronic • France


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Richard Pinhas biography
(aka: Richard Dunn) - Born 1951-05-07

Electronic music pioneer and leader member of the legendary HELDON, Richard Pinhas also has a prolific career in solo. In 1977 e he released his first essay called "Rhizosphère" (whose name is inspired by G. Deleuze philosophy). The content is largely made of cerebral-obsessional electronic loops. Guitars are more discreet and the music is progressively getting more and more into a lysergic post-modern space odissey. The magnetic and seductive "Chronolyse" (1978) is a little classic and a good example of Richard Pinhas' hability to explore the complex droning quality of electronic sound textures. The hypnotic and entrancing "Events and Repetitions" (2002) can be considered as the French answer to Eno/Fripp collaboration in the minimalist ambient spectrum. The last opus "Metatron" (2006) perfectly combines Richard Pinhas guitar style (in the vein of Robert Fripp's weird manipulations) to sonic cyclical electronics. Outside of his solo career richard pinhas also founded the project «schizotrope» and released several CDs in collaboration with numerous artists such as Peter Frohmader (Fossil Culture, 1999), Pascal Comelade (Obliques Sessions II, 1999). Highly recommended for those who like sci-fi psych jamming, Heldon's propulsive neurotic-electronics and Eno/ Fripp duet.

See also: SPACECRAFT - FLAMEN DIALIS - LARD FREE - ZED - Flip Side (of Sophism) (With Richard Pinhas)

:::Interview::: (09/09)

P.B: afterward, what was the release mechanism, the beginning of the musical odyssey Heldon?
R.P: at the beginning there was a group of blues, " blues convention " which I had formed with the one who became the first singer of magma Klaus Basquiz. After one year or two we stopped because we did not get any more, not with Klaus who remained a good friend but with the two others. At the same time to my studies at the faculty I thought of making some music more "seriously". I formed a group which was called schizo, a kind of introduction to Heldon. A first disk was published...
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Bureau B 2017
$12.21
$9.45 (used)
L'ethiqueL'ethique
Bureau B 2019
$18.99
$22.56 (used)
Single Collection 1972-1980Single Collection 1972-1980
Captain Trip Japan 2006
$38.97
$23.90 (used)
Process And RealityProcess And Reality
CUNEIFORM RECORDS 2017
$12.87
$16.25 (used)
ChronolyseChronolyse
CUNEIFORM RECORDS 2017
$24.96
$28.72 (used)
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RICHARD PINHAS discography


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RICHARD PINHAS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.11 | 26 ratings
Rhizosphère
1977
3.64 | 34 ratings
Chronolyse
1978
3.99 | 38 ratings
Iceland
1980
3.14 | 16 ratings
East West
1980
3.90 | 25 ratings
L'Ethique
1982
3.82 | 8 ratings
DWW
1992
3.40 | 5 ratings
Richard Pinhas & John Livengood: ‎Cyborg Sally
1994
2.36 | 5 ratings
De L'Un Et Du Multiple
1996
0.00 | 0 ratings
Schizotrope: Le Plan
1999
3.17 | 6 ratings
Events And Repetitions
2002
3.02 | 6 ratings
Tranzition
2004
3.49 | 17 ratings
Metatron
2006
4.05 | 2 ratings
Richard Pinhas & Merzbow: Keio Line
2008
4.00 | 1 ratings
Metal / Crystal
2010
3.00 | 2 ratings
Desolation Row
2013
3.00 | 3 ratings
Richard Pinhas & Tatsuya Yoshida: Welcome In The Void
2014
3.83 | 5 ratings
Richard Pinhas & Oren Ambarchi: Tikkun
2014
3.10 | 2 ratings
Richard Pinhas, Tatsuya Yoshida & Masami Akita: Process And Reality
2016
4.00 | 3 ratings
Reverse
2017

RICHARD PINHAS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.50 | 2 ratings
Rhizosphère / Live Paris 1982
1982
5.00 | 1 ratings
Schizotrope: The Life And Death Of Marie Zorn * North American Tour 1999
2000
4.02 | 4 ratings
Richard Pinhas & Merzbow: Rhizome
2011
5.00 | 1 ratings
Live In Japan / Richard Pinhas & Tatsuya Yoshida
2015
4.00 | 1 ratings
Live at Tusk Festival / Richard Pinhas, Tatsuya Yoshida, Ryoko Ono
2016
5.00 | 1 ratings
Hakata Shibuya - Live In Japan 2014 / Richard Pinhas & Tatsuya Yoshida
2016
4.00 | 1 ratings
Live at Bam Balam
2019

RICHARD PINHAS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

RICHARD PINHAS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.67 | 3 ratings
Single Collection 1972-1980
2006

RICHARD PINHAS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 1 ratings
West Side / Houston 69
1980
5.00 | 1 ratings
Beautiful May
1980
4.08 | 3 ratings
Cyborg Sally
1994

RICHARD PINHAS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Richard Pinhas & Oren Ambarchi: Tikkun by PINHAS, RICHARD album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.83 | 5 ratings

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Richard Pinhas & Oren Ambarchi: Tikkun
Richard Pinhas Progressive Electronic

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Bleak, industrial, avant-garde, experimental, noise, punk, extreme, heavy, this 2014 release from Richard Pinhas and Oren Ambarchi is all these things and yet so much more. This is not music for the fainthearted, and indeed many of those wouldn't even describe this as music ' I can imagine parents the world over screaming at their children 'What is that noise?' which is something I heard plenty of times in my youth, and now get told the same thing by my children. But in many ways this album is noise, but noise with a purpose. The two guitarists are deploying feedback as musical notes, looping their instruments so that drummer Joe Talia is all over his kit trying to keep it all together and also making himself heard, and for the most part failing in both tasks.

There is even a 'second circle' of musicians who add their parts, but the attention is drawn always to the sonic maelstrom being created by the two guitarists who have obviously never heard of the concepts of using space as an additional instrument, or having light and shade to create dynamics. This is a nihilistic over the top bleak rendition of the world, with the musicians allowing their nightmares to have full rein. This is music which hurts, which could be used as an aural assault weapon, and Ambarchi allows himself to have fun away from his normal projects with the likes of Sunn O))) and Attila Csihar while Pinhas continues on the road he has taken since he started Heldon in the early Seventies, and the result of this collaboration is something I found both incredibly compelling and repelling at the same time. This may not be an album I can see myself returning to often, and there is no possibility ever of singing the songs around the house as there aren't any, but there are times when this is the perfect reflection of the world we live in, and the only album which will do.

 Live at Bam Balam by PINHAS, RICHARD album cover Live, 2019
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Live at Bam Balam
Richard Pinhas Progressive Electronic

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

— First review of this album —
4 stars You'd think growing older might mellow an artist out, or that they'd prefer to play things nice and safe, but not so French musician Richard Pinhas, founding member of legendary Seventies electronic project Heldon. His LP contribution to Record Store Day 2019 is `Live at Bam Balam', recorded on two separate dates between 2016-18 in Bordeaux, France, and it's home to two side-long, fully improvised pieces of guitar, electronics and delay, all twisted together into a feral drone of delicious stormy noise.

Churning electric guitars snarl into sucking vacuums of wicked distortion, chiming electronics spiral into the heavens, and jagged shards of crystalline beauty slice the senses. Fleeting moments break into Robert Fripp-like splintering pierces and the cluttering violence of the wilder Seventies King Crimson improvisations, and even ambient reflections are laced with a subdued trace of dangerous unease. Slow to unfold and constantly evolving, the two long-form pieces here reveal endless dark mystery and a scuzzy contemplative atmosphere.

Audiophiles beware - this recording comes close to an `Official Bootleg' kind of sound quality, so those wanting pristine recordings of a modern standard should keep well away. But the sonic murk gives the performances a tough and honest grit, and it helps make `Live at Bam Balam' a welcome Record Store Day release, and another fascinating addition to the eclectic and daring discography of Richard Pinhas.

Three and a half stars, but four for Heldon/Pinhas freaks.

 Richard Pinhas, Tatsuya Yoshida & Masami Akita: Process And Reality by PINHAS, RICHARD album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.10 | 2 ratings

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Richard Pinhas, Tatsuya Yoshida & Masami Akita: Process And Reality
Richard Pinhas Progressive Electronic

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

3 stars Forty years on from his debut, Richard Pinhas is still producing challenging music, and on this 2016 album combined with two icons of the Japanese avant-garde ' drummer Tatsuya Yoshida, mastermind of warped-prog legends Ruins, and Masami Akita, a.k.a. noise guru Merzbow. Although they have performed and toured together, this is the first time the trio had made it into a studio and actually recorded. What we have here are four 'songs', with Pinhas providing guitar and synth guitar, Merzbow electronic noise, and Yoshida bashing the hell out of a drum kit. It is really hard to understand who is leading who, as in many ways it is Yoshida who is at the forefront of what is going on, while the other two are fighting instruments to produce something that is avant garde, challenging and quite unsettling.

This is bleak, disconcerting music depicting a post nuclear age, where life is cheap and short. It is compelling, disturbing, disconcerting and polarising. This isn't music for everyone, and there will be many who feel this isn't even meeting the definition of the term, but I found it interesting and engaging even if I don't want to play it all the time.

 Chronolyse by PINHAS, RICHARD album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.64 | 34 ratings

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Chronolyse
Richard Pinhas Progressive Electronic

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

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.

 Rhizosphère by PINHAS, RICHARD album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.11 | 26 ratings

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Rhizosphère
Richard Pinhas Progressive Electronic

Review by WFV

3 stars As the first Richard Pinhas solo work, Rhizosphere works as a natural bridge between the music Pinhas created with Heldon and the music he would make in the future. A transition album.

We're still treated to treated electronics, but without a guitar, the aggression is scaled back on Rhizosphere. The first side flows nicely with shorter pieces, for me the highlight is the languid Trapeze/Interference.

Side B is a sidelong electrosuite that is quite repetitive and not all that engaging.

Somewhat mediocre but mildly pleasing for electrofans. The CD release includes a seperate unreleased Live album from 1982, which bumps the mediocrity level to respectably competent.

 Iceland by PINHAS, RICHARD album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.99 | 38 ratings

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Iceland
Richard Pinhas Progressive Electronic

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars "Cold" is an adjective which could often be ascribed to Richard Pinhas' music, whether you're talking about his solo electronic works or his band work with the likes of Heldon. A master of creating alienating, chilling atmospheres already, on Iceland he really takes that to the next level, producing a frosty masterpiece which will convince listeners that the dread fimbulwinter that precedes Ragnarok is upon them. CD rereleases tack on the 25 minute bonus track "Wintermusic", a rather dispensable Fripp & Eno-esque drone piece which fails to capture the raw intensity of the original album and can safely be skipped; it's the core Arctic blast of the original tracks which really stands out.
 Richard Pinhas & Tatsuya  Yoshida: Welcome In The Void by PINHAS, RICHARD album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.00 | 3 ratings

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Richard Pinhas & Tatsuya Yoshida: Welcome In The Void
Richard Pinhas Progressive Electronic

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Thunder and lightning! But then again....

My first encounter with Tatsuya Yoshida, who co-composes, "Welcome... ... In The Void", 2014, alongside Richard Pinhas, is through this same record.

Drummer Yoshida finally was the one to subdue a bit, Pinhas' frantic obsession with Robert Fripp's self-named "Frippertronics". I mean, he uses them more than Fripp himself, who now constructs a more refined kind, named "Soundscapes".

But no matter how much I appreciate and still want to appreciate Richard Pinhas own guitar language, it is always surrounded by this "cloudy aura" of sounding like a Robert Fripp's involuntary (?) clone.

Well, as told, Yoshida's thunderous and creative drumming kind of balances and keeps Richard, most of the time, busy doing what he does best, the daring and whirling guitar soloings mixed with an ever changing palette of strumming colors, like his great Heldon or his best early solo efforts. But although owning his own style, he falls off the wagon more than once. Damn!

Welcome.....in the Void, consist of 2, 30 min long each, non-stop, progressive psychedelic electronics. There are extraordinary sections, of tumultuous and deep, dynamic inspiration, when both musicians form a perfectly balanced communion of excesses, going both ways of their performing skills.

But inevitably, I can not keep my mind off, the constant and alien apparition of Pinhas' "Frippertronics".

Therefore, ***3, "Good! One way trip" PA stars.

 Chronolyse by PINHAS, RICHARD album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.64 | 34 ratings

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Chronolyse
Richard Pinhas Progressive Electronic

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

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.

 Rhizosphère by PINHAS, RICHARD album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.11 | 26 ratings

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Rhizosphère
Richard Pinhas Progressive Electronic

Review by Dobermensch
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'Rhizosphere' is machine music that sounds like it was recorded by one of those Drones on 'Tatooine' from 'Star Wars' in 1977.

Unlike his concurrent 'Heldon' band - there are no guitars used at all. This is purely electronic with a complete absence of vocals. 'Rhizosphere' displays all the technology and gadget twisting of 'Jean Michel Jarre' from the previous year with his groundbreaking 'Oxygene'. Thankfully it's mostly a lot darker in execution.

'A Piece for Duncan' verges on New Age Ambience in the style of Steve Hillages 'Rainbow Dome Musick'. Squeaks and bloops playfully doodle around the surface as a simple pretty echoing keyboard patters out a relaxing little tune.

Quite frankly, this whole album is far more listenable and pleasing than 'Heldon' to my weak and feeble ears that have been damaged beyond belief during the past 25 years of listening to 'difficult' music. As you can see it also displays a bizarre and wonderful front sleeve. It's meaningless, of course, but represents a surrealistic approach to the recording.

Swirling keyboards make up 'Claire P.' with a hypnotic and kaleidoscopic feel throughout. This is quickly followed by 'Trapeze Interference'. Being much darker and quite sinister, it's actually similar to early 80's Industrialists 'Konstruktivists' with its wind-tunnel, doom laden chords.

The 18 minute 'Rhizosphere' is a large slab of electronica played with a huge amount of heavily treated percussion, where every sound is squashed through electronic effects. Mostly 'flanger'. It is however, just a greatly expanded version of the excellent introductory track. It's all very 'Klaus Schulze' circa 1976. On a negative note, it gets too repetitive over it's lengthy duration with too few changes in direction to hold the listeners attention. The gradual but dramatic change in tempo is the only thing that warrants such a long track. Unfortunately it drags things down a bit.

At just 39 minutes running time some may feel a bit cheated out of their hard earned pobblebeads in purchasing such an album.

 Metatron by PINHAS, RICHARD album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.49 | 17 ratings

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Metatron
Richard Pinhas Progressive Electronic

Review by Dobermensch
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'Metatron' is a far more 'Pinhas' centred album than the ultra noise monger 'Merzbow' from Japan. Richard pinhas' hero 'Robert Fripp' plays a large part on this recording despite being entirely absent, willingly or not, on this lengthy double album from 2006. There's a large amount of processed guitar trickery with 'Frippertonic' experiments at work on 'Metatron'.

From the outset Pinhas plays guitar through electronic filters creating a shimmering, floating atmosphere, which creates an hallucinogenic effect. Stand-in 'Magma' drummer Antoine Paganotti batters out some arrythmical jazz drumming over the top of Pinhas' flailing guitar. At times it gets too much, sounding like someone's thrown six bowling balls down some stairs. It's a mesmerising slab of art which is a bit like looking through one of those old kaleidoscopes. Everything washes around without any sense of direction in the most random way. I can tell you one thing - the vast majority of 'Metatron' is unscored and is clearly a free-for-all slowly evolving jam.

'Moumoune and Mietz' is the one true tune on this album and its wonderful. It's uplifting in the way the world's best National Anthem - the Italian - sounds. There's a lot of very odd, turbulent and off kilter 'Magma' drumming throughout which never repeats and is very engaging. It's like the 'Merzbow' Christmas Carol you never heard.

Intensely looped fragments of vocals appear on 'Shadda Blues' amongst swirling electronics. Let's just say that this is not good hangover material.

'Metatron' is an entirely instrumental album with occasional spoken words that has an underlying threat throughout. Like an albatross hanging over your shoulders, waiting for the ship to go down.

And now ladies and gentlemen, the historical bit: 'Metatron' is, according to Jewish medieaval apocrypha, Enoch, ancestor of Noah, who is transformed into an angel. I bet that grabbed your attention eh?

Now, if you can convert your brain into the vibe and oppressive atmosphere of 'Metatron' then you could well enjoy this enormous recording that lasts well over two hours. There's one or two moments of 'Heldon' territory that appear. In particular 'The Fabulous Story of Tigroo and Laloo'. Although it's not much of a story as no words are uttered at all. It is however reminiscent of 'Un Reve Sans Consequence Speciale' from '76. Full of wailing, stretched and groaning guitars while a jack-hammer 4/4 beat pounds relentlessly.

There's some unadulterated Robert Fripp guitar sounds on 'Tikkun part 2'. A shameless theft of guitar sound that 'Pinhas' is only too willing to replicate in respect of his idol. Not only that, he seems more than happy to let everyone know.

More impressive are the the beat-less guitar tracks such as 'Metatronic Rock' which display wobbly, reverberated and highly distorted guitars

This is a real mixed bag of lengthy tunes that sounds at war with itself, not knowing what it really wants to be. A lack of focus is the one criticism I can throw at this. It seems to wander from track to track, punching left and right but making no contact with anything. Thrashing about wildly, like a bag full of cats.

At the end of the day I find it difficult to identify the 'Merzbow' contribution. Of the 20 odd CD's I own by him I can't hear much of his input at all. Weird...

It's still a sonic electronic assault with all sounds being excellently produced and appearing crystal clear whilst played at high volume. Ultimately it's just all too long and drawn out. No matter how often I listen to this I hardly ever reach the end. Too much of the same stuff gradually wears me down. After two hours I've more than had enough. It seems like they could have done with a good editor.

Great in parts, but far, far too long. 'Metatron' turns into and endurance test for even the mightiest of minds.

Thanks to Philippe Blache for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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