Exposé Online banner

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

by Peter Thelen, 1994-05-01:

Soudain, l'Éléphant Cover art 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.

by Henry Schneider, 1994-12-31:

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.


Filed under: New releases , 1993 releases

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

More info

Latest news

2019-12-11
There's No Time Like the Present – The Belgian band Present has been one of the best avant-rock bands in the world since its formation in 1979. Over the years since then, Present has released nine amazing albums, and now they're ready to start work on number ten. They're looking for some financial help from their fans around the world. » Read more

2019-11-07
Glenn Smith RIP – Glenn Smith, founder, mandolinist, and primary composer of the DeLand, Florida based prog / fusion band Magnatar, passed away on October 18th 2019 at the age of 68, after a brief illness.  » Read more

2019-11-04
Dino Brassea RIP – Word reaches us of the passing of Dino Brassea, who sang and played flute in Cast for many years. By our count, Brassea appeared on 11 Cast albums between 1994 and 2002. He also released music as a solo artist. » Read more

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

David Thomas & Foreigners - Bay City – Starting with his tenure in the seminal art-punk outfit Pere Ubu, David Thomas has shown himself to be a lyricist of great talent and singer of acquired taste. For this outing he teams up with a trio...  (2001) » Read more

David Cross Band - Alive in the Underworld – Ex-Crimson violinist David Cross has been pretty consistently refining his post-Crimson ideas for the past ten years or so. It’s no quantum leap to expect him to take his message literally to...  (2009) » Read more

Mad Crayon - Ultimo Miraggio – Mad Crayon are a new Italian quintet of the symphonic variety. Two of the members play keys, so as you can expect, the sound is lush and beautiful. The band is young — which is surprising, since...  (1994) » Read more

Robert Berry - Pilgrimage to a Point – Robert Berry has been making music around the San Francisco Bay Area for about 20 years now – maybe longer. Probably his only national attention came during the late 80s when he teamed up with...  (1995) » Read more

Jane Siberry - Teenager – Quirky Jane Siberry's eighth album is her first on her new label and a poignant introspective delving into the past via songs she wrote at age 16. This really is only her second completely solo...  (1997) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues