dinsdag 30 november 2010

Ange - 1973 - Le Cimetiere des Arlequins

Le Cimetiere des Arlequins

01. Ces Gens-Là (4:47)
02. Aujourd'hui c'est la Fête chez l'Apprenti-Sorcier (3:25)
03. Bivouac - 1ère partie (5:32)
04. L'Espionne Lesbienne (2:52)
05. Bivouac Final (3:02)
06. De Temps en Temps (4:08)
07. La Route aux Cyprès (3:18)
08. Le Cimetière des Arlequins (8:46)

- Christian Decamps / Organ Hammond, piano, lead vocal
- Francis Decamps / organ special effects, Mellotron, vocal
- Jean-Michel Brezovar / solo guitar, flute, vocal
- Gérard Jelsh / drums, percussion
- Daniel Haas / bass guitar, acoustic guitar

Ange's second album was released in 73 on the Phillips label, but apparently, the label didn't invest much money in the group's recording sessions and the album sounds muffled in places and downright catastrophically bad in others (at least on the first Cd reissue). With a wild artwork, Ange's unchanged line-up recorded seven mostly shorter songs (even if three tracks combine into an 11-mins mini-suite), and the closer being an almost 9 minutes title traxck. .
This starts with Jacques Brel's Ces Gens-Là, which is one of the best covers of any Brel cover song done prog or not (bar Bowie's version of Amsterdam) as they really understood how to put this in rock instrumentation, even if it isn't perfect. This will be their first hit but one thing is clear, the original Brel song was better produced than this obscure prog record. Another proof of poor production is the Ajourdhuis tracks, which sounds completely muffled. Other stand-out tracks are Espionne-Lesbienne sandwiched between the two Bivouac pieces, which forms an 11-mins suite, with the central piece being a corrosive text. The flipside starts on an average electric De Temps En Temps and follows it on an acoustic Route Des Cyprès and closing the album, last but not least, the title track. Indeed thismini-epic is the main reason to believe that Ange progressed from Caricatures and here the demented sombre track offers plenty of doom and sterangeitude.
As far as I am concerned, this is their best album, along with the debut, a fact that most Ange addicts will dispute me with Délire and Jacotey. I suggest that newcomers to Ange start with this one, being slightly less aggressive (in a good Ange way) as to not scare them away with the more bizarre debut Caricatures and then move on chronologically. If you can find a remastered version of these early Ange albums it might be a good idea.

1. Ces Gens-Là (4:47) : This is a cover from the famous Belgian singer Jacques Brel, his emotional approach must have appealed to Christian Decamps ! The atmosphere is bluesy with strong and expressive vocals, wonderful mellow organ waves and fiery electric guitar work.
2. Aujourd'hui c'est la Fête chez l'Apprenti-Sorcier (3:25) : This a short but varied (dreamy, catch, bombastic) song, tasteful coloured by the organ and theatrical French vocals.
3. Bivouac - 1ère partie (5:32) : A typical Ange song delivering lots of dynamics and a psychedelic undertone, the word "Bivouac" is sung as "Hallelujah". Halfway the sound of the organ, electric rhythm guitar and drums is almost hypnotizing, including a great distorted organ/wah-wah guitar duel.
4. L'Espionne Lesbienne (2:52) : A bit strange track with acoustic guitar, flute and funny vocals.
5. Bivouac Final (3:02) : A compelling climate featuring a propulsive rhythm-section and a sensational, distorted organ and electric guitar (wah-wah) sound.
6. De Temps en Temps (4:08) : This song has a slow rhythm with lush organ and strong and varied vocals (theatrical, warm, dramatic), halfway there is a short but fiery and biting electric guitar solo.
7. La Route aux Cyprès (3:18) : This is a beautiful, romantic sounding piece with warm vocals and pleasant acoustic guitar and flute.
8. Le Cimetière des Arlequins (8:46) : The first part of this long titletrack sounds a bit subdued but halfway gradually the atmospere becomes more 'bombastic psychedelic' featuring a compelling organ sound and theatrical vocals. The final part contains weird sounds.
A good album with lots of fine momens but also some less captivating parts, .. in my opinion.

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