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

2019-02-21
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

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » 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



Listen & discover



Print issues