B.A.G. — Soudain, l'Éléphant
(Musea FGBG 4079.AR, 1993, CD)
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.
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.
This poem is undoubtedly an explanation of the album title. baG is a band to watch.
Related artist(s): B.A.G.
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more
Mikhail Chekhalin - Poruganie Patsiphika, Paradigm Transition & Untimely – Mikhail Chekalin is a Russian keyboard artist and a composer who has an impressive body of work dating back to the early 80s. He has been called the Russian Klaus Schulze, but these three new releases... (2008) » Read more