dinsdag 30 november 2010

Ange - 1972 - Caricatures


01. Biafra 80 (Intro) (3:50)
02. Tels Quels (6:55)
03. Dignité (9:35)
04. Le soir du Diable (4:32)
05. Caricatures (12:46)
06. Biafra 80 (Final) (2:22)

- Jean Michel Brezovar / solo guitar, acoustic guitar
- Gerald Jelsch / drums, percussion
- Daniel Haas / bass guitar
- Christian Decamps / organ Hammond, piano
- Francis Decamps / organ special effects

Formed in late 1969 by brothers Christian Descamps (vocals) and Francis Descamps (keyboards) and later joined by guitarist Jean-Michel Brézovar, bassist Daniel Haas and Gérard Jelsh on drums, this French symphonic progressive rock band, similar to contemporaries such as Genesis and King Crimson, is undoubtedly France's most important prog band. Marrying prog rock influences with French folk and theatrical vocals à la Jacques Brel (Ange covered Ces Gens-là from Brel, and it turned out to be their first hit in 1970), Ange's music, but mostly their lyrics, are second to none. Thirty years later, after multiple lineup changes, charismatic and theatrical frontman Christian Descamps leads the new Ange generation alongside his son Tristan on keyboards, Hassan Hajdi on guitars, Thierry Sidhoun on bass, Caroline Crozat on vocals and Benoît Cazzulini on drums.

The classic line up (except for the drummer which changed often) recorded many cult classics, such as « Caricatures », « Le Cimetière des Arlequins », and a series of masterpieces like « Au-delà du Délire », « Émile Jacotey », « Par les Fils de Mandrin » and « Guet-Apens ». 10 years after « Guet-Apens », the same lineup would reunite and release two albums, « Sève qui Peut » in 1989 and « Les larmes du Dalaï-Lama » in 1992. While being modern, these albums nevertheless captured the main ingredients unique to Ange. Their latest albums, « Culinaire Lingus » and « ? » see the band as inspired and pertinent as ever, as if Descamps had found the secret of eternal youth.

This band is more than highly recommended, it is mandatory listening for fans of theatrical symphonic progressive rock, especially the period between « Caricatures » and « Guet-Apens ».

This is the first album by the legendary and pivotal French progrock band Ange. It has a typical Seventies sound, very dated but also unique and captivating.
1. Biafra 80 (Intro) (3:50) : This first song is instrumental, it contains a slow rhtyhm and a bit ominous atmosphere featuring delicate organ and Mellotron waves and some fiery electric guitar, very compelling prog!
2. Tels Quels (6:55) : In this track we can enjoy the typical Ange sound: theatrical and expressive French, very distinctive vocals from Christian Decamps and frequently changing climates, from dreamy or catchy to fiery or bombastic with often a psychedelic undertone and some biting wah-wah drenched guitar soli.
3. Dignité (9:35) : This composition alternates between a slow rhythm with mellow organ waves and story telling-like vocals and a cheerful climate with propulsive drums and catchy organ runs (like on "Act one" from BEGGAR'S OPERA), halfway interrupted by an interlude with classical piano and flute.
4. Le soir du Diable (4:32) : This is a beautiful blend of twanging acoustic guitar, warm vocals, soft drum beats and slow organ waves, what an original prog!
5. Caricatures (12:46) : The epic titletrack starts with a theatrical spoken intro, then lots of shifting moods featuring a lush keyboard sound (lots of organ and some Mellotron and piano), fiery electric guitar and expressive French vocals. This compelling and alternating prog inspired so many French progrock bands!
6. Biafra 80 (Final) (2:22) : The final track features lots of strange sounds and experimental music on percussion, flute, organ and guitar, a bit weird way so say goodbey....

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