Exposé Online banner

B.A.G. — Soudain, l'Éléphant
(Musea FGBG 4079.AR, 1993, CD)

by Henry Schneider, 1994-12-31:

Soudain, l'Éléphant Cover art

baG, a French band, was Musea’s foray into world music. baG traveled extensively in the 80s and 90s listening to and influenced by Asian, Arabian, South American, African, and French folk music. Their debut CD Soudain l’Éléphant is an ethno-folk-progressive amalgam of finely crafted and recorded music. The opening song "Suerte" is a slick new-age piece along the lines of Weather Report without falling to the excess of Kenny G. The music significantly improves after "Suerte" alternating between bucolic guitar pieces evoking Pat Metheny and jazz fusion in the style of Chick Corea. Highlights of this album are the Arabic influenced "Udaï," the slow moving and eerie "Little Desert Hotel," and the King Crimson experimental stylings of "Le Chat Noir." Soudain l’Éléphant is another excellent Musea release and sure to please a wide audience. One little glitch in the packaging is a handwritten poem printed in reverse on the inside cover of the CD booklet. By scanning and inverting the page I was able to decipher most of the writing:

Comme un éléphant son ivoire,
J'ai en bouche un bien précieux.
Pourpre mort!.. J'achète ma gloire
Au prix des mots mélodieux.

An elephant has his ivory
So I have in my mouth precious goods.
Purple death!...I buy my glory
At the price of melodious words.
- Apollinaire

This poem is undoubtedly an explanation of the album title. baG is a band to watch.


by Peter Thelen, 1994-05-01:

This French instrumental five piece of guitars, bass, keys, winds and drums plays music in a somewhat jazzy vein, yet with a rock flair and a multitude of influences ranging from world jazz and Arabic themes to folk stylings and new-age. The result is a very soothing yet energized music falling somewhere between early Ozrics, Joaquin Lievano, and Material's Hallucination Engine, perhaps with flashes of influence from Pat Metheny, Alain Markusfeld, and others. Primal exotic percussion abounds in almost every tune, as well as heavy and moody atmospherics, didjeridu samples, bagpipes, and other interesting wind-synth textures. One can't help being captivated by the variety and refinement of the compositions and arrangements as the band works their way through the album's eleven tracks, mostly in the four-to-five minute range. Yet the music here is not overly complex or busy on the nerves, instead being more laid-back and melodically oriented. All in all, this is an outstanding album by what seems to be one of France's most promising new bands, an album that grows on the listener, slowly revealing itself with each repeated exposure.

Filed under: New releases , Issue 3 , 1993 releases

Related artist(s): B.A.G.

More info

Latest news

2017-05-19
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more

2017-05-05
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more

2017-05-02
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more

2017-04-16
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

A.C.T. - Silence – I'm new to this Swedish quintet, but have to say I'm mightily impressed. In a nutshell, these guys have come up with a prog rock take on what Queen were doing in the mid 70s. Other reference points...  (2008) » Read more

Thomas Kugler - Lilith: The Rock Opera – Based on the play by Remy de Gourmont, this rock opera adaptation is composed by Kugler. It features God, Satan, Adam, Eve, Lilith, and various angels and assorted baddies. Instrumental backing is...  (2007) » Read more

Kvazar - A Giant's Lullaby – This Norwegian band’s second album is solid symphonic rock with plenty of engaging twists. “Flight of Shamash” opens with a dreamy sequence, evocative of flight. A chant-like vocal...  (2006) » Read more

Saga - Network – Saga just keeps on trucking. Network is like their 947th studio album or something. What’s amazing about Saga is that unlike most bands fortunate enough to have 30-year music careers, these guys...  (2006) » Read more

Renaissant - South of Winter – Here’s another branch of the Renaissance tree, this one under the stewardship of longtime drummer Terrence Sullivan, along with what appears to be numerous Sullivan family members (Lee,...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues