Exposé Online banner

Catharsis — Le Bolero du Veau des Dames
(Spalax 14203, 1974/1994, CD)

Catharsis — Et S'Aimer... et Mourir
(Spalax 14280, 1976/1994, CD)

by Mike McLatchey, Published 1995-03-01

Le Bolero du Veau des Dames Cover artEt S'Aimer... et Mourir Cover artCatharsis were one of the most esoteric of the French 70s rock groups, combining influences of rock, folk, classical, psych and medieval into an unusual and distinctly individual mold. Led by keyboardist Roland Bocquet, Catharsis released a plethora of 30 minute albums of which these are not literally volumes 5 and 6. Le Bolero du Veau des Dames and Et S'Aimer... et Mourir... are both very similar in style — a slightly baroque sounding progressive rock with a refined Satie like simplicity — elegant and charming. A close cousin would certainly be Wapassou with the naive, almost antique musicality and developed yet straightforward themes. Catharsis' strange menagerie of musical references imbue a certain sense of a haunting uncertainty. Moving through each album's short duration are reminders of Genesis (Bocquet and Bank's organ styles can be close,) Ange (yet no so vocally prominent,) psych beat like the Strawberry Alarm Clock (the "Age of Aquarius" wordless vocals,) and a naturally French cultural influence that brings the music closer to its contemporaries like Carpe Diem, Falstaff, or Metabolisme. These albums are both very good and a pleasurable listening experience, but 18 bucks is a hell of a lot of money to put out for 30 minutes of music. These are good as starters — as of this time volumes 1 through 4 should be out as separate discs (although Griffin music had released 1 and 2 together, a now deleted package) for those who found these amiable listening.

Filed under: Reissues, Issue 6, 1994 releases, 1974 recordings, 1976 recordings

Related artist(s): Catharsis

Latest news

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Various Artists - Seven Days of a Life – This compilation has obviously been real late in the making, as all of the tracks were recorded between 1989 and 1991. While the concept of this album is explained in greater detail in the CD booklet,...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues