woensdag 10 november 2010

Aksak Maboul - 1980 - Un peu de l'ame des Bandits

Aksak Maboul
Un peu de l'ame des Bandits

01. A Modern Lesson (5:00)
02. Palmiers En Pots: Trio / Tango (3:24)
03. Geistige Nacht (5:20)
04. I Viaggi Formano La Gioventu (5:13)
05. Inoculating Rabies (1:59)
06. Cinema (23:03)
07. Bosses De Crosses (7:02)

- Michel Berckmans / basson, oboe
- Chris Cutler / drums, percussions, radio
- Fred Frith / bass, guitar, prepared guitar
- Marc Hollander / organ, piano, bass clarinet, Alto saxophone, xylophone, percussions
- Catherine Jauniaux / voice
- Denis Van Hecke / cello, electric cello, voice
- Frank Wuyts / piano, synthesizer
- Yvon Vromman / guitars, vocals
- Veronique Vincent / guitars
- Gerard Fenerberg / vocals, guitar
- Vincent Kenis / bass
- Jeanf Jones Jacob III / drums

If I were asked to define what exactly Rock-In Opposition was and sounded like, I would do two things: I would first think of a clear, concise definition of what the movement represented, and list a few bands that partook in the movement. Alongside of this, I would compile a mix-album of RIO music--or at least that's what I would've done. Things have changed after hearing Aksak Maboul's Un Peu De L'Ame Des Bandits, and the group has actually made my life a bit easier (or would if ever I had to define the RIO movement), for this album alone stands to me as the epitome of what exactly this RIO business is, and on top of that, it's RIO done impressively well from start to finish, which is quite a feat, truthfully, as sometimes (to me at least), the quirks behind RIO tend to dampen the overall effect of the music at play. But not so with this one!
Now the music:
The album kicks off with some almost early Can-esque music and some eclectic vocal work on A Modern Lesson, and later we are treated to some very unique piano work alongside some interesting horn and percussion work. This song alone is enough to make many turn their heads in shame--I can only imagine the reaction if this song were to come on over a loudspeaker in an American high school or on the jukebox at a pool hall (I'll have to try it one day...)
We are then treated to several tracks of eclectic, playful, full-out RIO music full of twists, turns, drops, assaults, and other mishaps. The entire album comes off as one long-winded joke--but at least it's a good one. Some of the better highlights, besides the opening track include the entirety of the ballad-y (and closest to normal) second track Palmiers En Pots, as well as most of the swirling vortex that is I Viaggi Formano La Gioventú (track 4)...then of course there's Cinema, the highlight track of the album, which spans some 23 minutes. We are treated to ten or so minutes of experimental noise from woodwinds until the song picks up around 11 minutes with some extremely out-there guitar, piano, and percussion work--this song sounds like a mind going insane...what's great about it is, after the topsy-turvy first 25 minutes or the album, this song comes in to treat us with an on-edge break, before climaxing in a devilish swirl of oddities. The song continues in an odd manner, pausing for some nice, soft piano work now and then, before swirling to a close and ending in the same manner that it began, but in a much more chaotic manner...
The album ends on an unsettling note with Age Route Brra, which begins with yet more oddly arranged percussion and other odd noises (that's really what the album is: an assortment of organized, odd, fanciful, and immensely entertaining noises), before ending in a way reminiscent to the way it began. It's a fun feast, and we're all invited...
This album is deeply recommended for those who want a rather extreme (at times at least) first look at the RIO movement in a few fun doses, as well as for fans of RIO that have not heard it yet. Other than that, I'd say it would probably be a bit too eclectic for fans of more modern prog to enjoy in much of a great extent. Either way, it comes deeply recommended from me.

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