Alco Frisbass — Alco Frisbass
(AltrOck Productions Fading FAD-016, 2015, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2015-04-29The mesmerizing opening track “La Suspension Ethéréene” contains many textural keyboard hallmarks reminiscent of the classic mid-70s zeuhl sound, yet there are no voices, and it also breathes an equal abundance of symphonic and jazz elements, making this debut album by French duo Alco Frisbass a very original endeavor. Just when one thinks it might be going in one direction, everything changes and suddenly they are somewhere else entirely. Fabrice “Chfab” Chouette plays keyboards, guitar, recorder, voice, whistling, and percussion, while Patrick “Paskinel” Dufour plays Fender Rhodes, additional keyboards, percussion, and drum programming, so keyboards are an essential and prominent element of their instrumental mix, but not overpowering. The guest list includes guitarist Jacob Holm Lupo (White Willow) on that opening track, and on the closer “Judith Coupouse la Tête,” which also includes some additional keyboard and Mellotron work by Thierry Payssan (Minimum Vital). Archimede De Martini (Stormy Six) contributes several outstanding violin solos throughout, including on the opener. Some wordless voices show up in one part of the third cut “Induction Magnetique,” and again on a couple parts of the twelve-minute “Escamotage,” but apart from that the entirety of the six long cuts (four break the nine-minute mark) are instrumentals that a listener can get completely lost within. The mixing is handled by Paolo “Ske” Botta (Yugen, Not a Good Sign) and mastering was done by Udi Koomran, and whether one listens to this on cheap computer speakers or on high end headphones or anything in between, this sounds great beginning to end. The label’s infosheet made a big deal about this album being “...pure Canterbury sound,” and I suppose there is some validity to that due to the extensive use of Fender Rhodes, but to my ears this sounds very French, with some passing salutes to some great bands of yesteryear like Eskaton, Transit Express, and others, but more than anything Alco Frisbass have created their own special musical world.
Related artist(s): Alco Frisbass
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more