Julverne — Le Retour du Captain Nemo
(Igloo IGL 089, 1986/1992, CD)
by Mike Ohman, Published 1995-03-01Julverne sprang from the same Belgian underground avant-garde music scene that produced Cos, Univers Zero, Aqsak Maboul, and Art Zoyd. As such, members of all the aforementioned bands, at one time or other, played with Julverne at one time or other. This release anthologizes from the second and fourth of the group's four albums: A Neuf and Ne Parlons Pas de Mahleur. Also included are two previously unreleased tracks, "Joyeux Noel, Cap'tain Nemo!" and "'T Kofschip," which pre-date the first album. Like Art Zoyd, Julverne's music owes a lot more to chamber music than rock. Strings, woodwinds and piano are used in various configurations. No guitars, no bass, no drums and no electric keyboards of any kind are used. In a way, this is not unlike the attempts at neo-classical music by bands such as Banco (Di Terra), Esperanto, and Gentle Giant, but taken to its logical extreme; jettisoning the mantle of rock music altogether. Though resembling classical music more than anything else, the group does borrow some ideas from rock; specifically improvised solos and an often strong rhythmic pulse. The consonances and dissonances are very well balanced. It's a much easier listen than, say, Art Zoyd, because they save the discordant parts for climactic passages. Much of the rest of the music is dreamily melodic, but not safely so. The music is constantly challenging, on occasion suggesting the music of Bartok and Stravinsky, other times less avant-garde 20th-century composers like Hindemith. An intriguing exception is "Polka," which sounds uncannily like Mozart, albeit with playful dissonances in the middle section. If you're willing to survive without the crutch of a rock rhythm section, I think you ought to give Julverne a try. Their music, while certainly not rock, is nonetheless daring and original, and deserves to be listened to by those searching for something a little different.
Related artist(s): Julverne
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more
Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more