Exposé Online banner

Anaïd — Four Years
(AYAA Disques JMEC1991, 1991, CD)

by Rob Walker, Published 1995-07-01

Four Years Cover art

The hybrid French/English ensemble Anaïd may or may not still be in existence; this CD combines some tracks from their only LP Belladonna and selected material from before and after. The title Four Years refers to the span of time during which the material was recorded (1986-90). Consisting of a core group of Frenchmen along with a shifting cast of guest musicians, including several well-known Canterbury folks, the group presents an interesting and somewhat unique sound on the 11 tracks found on this CD. The music is jazz flavored, with a heavy sax and vibraphone presence, but has a definite zeuhl feel in the rhythms as well as the dramatic French vocals, delivered by the strong and expressive voice of Emmanuelle Lionet. Vibraphonist Jean-Max Delva is the apparent leader of the group and writes most of the material. His rhythms, and even moreso his melodies, which are usually based on altered scales, help to create an exotic atmosphere which permeates the album. The music remains relatively light, though one notable track with fuzz bass courtesy of Hugh Hopper has a heavy Magma-esque Zeuhl air to it. A few other strong tracks stand out as well, but overall the music is nothing exceptional. Indeed, the strongest point of the album as a whole is probably its unusual sound. Still, Four Years features strong vocals, a lush, exotic atmosphere, and a cast of talented musicians. So though this is far from a stand-out, must-have release, it may certainly prove of interest to some listeners.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 7, 1991 releases

Related artist(s): Hugh Hopper, Patrice Meyer, Anaïd, Sophia Domancich, Rick Biddulph

Latest news

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart $amp; Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Van der Graaf Generator - Trisector – Van der Graaf Generator has been getting attention from the mainstream press during their recent UK tour, much of it positive and respectful. I have a feeling Trisector will help in that regard. While...  (2009) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues