Moteur! – En traits libres

The Music

The Words

Moteur! is a French avant-prog band who released its debut self-titled album almost exactly a year ago. En traits libres is their most recent output, and it makes some changes on the basic formula. First of all, the band is now totally instrumental, and I can’t say I miss the vocals of their first opus; moving them out was a wise move. Secondly, the then-trio welcomes Yacine Rabia on bass guitar and becomes a full-fledged quartet! That adds a layer of sound, something that wasn’t really lacking, but that is nonetheless appreciated.

The band favours completely … Read more

Graham Young, Reflection Nebula, Lac, Bruant Zizi, Krosis, Gura, Ian Ethan Case, A Formal Horse, and Lady Bazaar

Graham Young – A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Graham Young’s latest album is a treat for prog fusion lovers. The album takes a lot from the sound of Planet X and the likes, and crafts some mind-bending songs with complex rhythms, modulating harmonies, and a good deal of high level musicianship. Even though this is not unheard of, this attempt is really successful at nourishing that very precise craving, and so I believe it’s worth your time!

Reflection Nebula – Loudcloud

If this were to be a physical release, it would have to be on at … Read more

Théo Ceccaldi’s Freaks – Amanda Dakota

The Music

The Words

Théo Ceccaldi is now a renowned jazz violinist, and he is now at the heads of Freaks, an experimental jazz sextet that bridges jazz-rock with avant-garde pop and Rock in Opposition. Indeed, it sometimes sound like a jazz version of French band PoiL, which is a major plus!

What can you expect from their debut, Amanda Dakota? First of all, a lot of odd themes and harmonies are sown all around the album, and the rhythm section tries to clumsily follow in odd times and bizarre subdivisions. This is something that I like a … Read more

P.O.N. – P.O.N. (1995)

The Words

P.O.N. was a Japanese jazz fusion band active in the ’90s, and whose only release is this obscure self-titled album. I wanted to talk about it, however, because it is still relevant in today’s world due to its high production value and contemporary sound. P.O.N. features forty-five minutes of blazing saxophone, guitar, and vibraphone on top of a Zappaesque backing band.

How so? Well, if the regular rhythmic modulations — frequently shifting from straight eighths to many different n-tuplets — didn’t tip you off, you might as well be deaf. However, it is, in my opinion, much more … Read more

Among the Rocks and Roots – Raga

The Music

The Words

Raga is a brand new album from the experimental noise rock duo Among the Rocks and Roots, formed by Abdul-Hakim Bilal and Samuel Goff. Armed with a bass guitar, a drum set, and a voice, the two-man group play distorted and slow, cathartic music that is politically and socially engaged, lyrically. Indeed, Raga is the second part to an upcoming trilogy about addiction, and tackle the themes of abuse, race, and class conflict.

While I didn’t feel engrossed by part one of this trilogy, Samudra garba pathe, Raga is speaking to me. I have … Read more