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

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Contrarian - Minor Complexities – While one can't fault this for its flawless execution, outstanding vocals or the excellent and thoughtful lyrics, it certainly doesn't cover any new ground stylistically beyond that well worn path...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues