Exposé Online banner

Minimum Vital — La Source
(Musea FGBG 4075AR, 1993, CD)

by Henry Schneider, 1993-12-31:

La Source Cover art

La Source is Minimum Vital’s third CD and marks a break from the baroque and medieval flavor of their earlier releases. Although the CD artwork contains photos of medieval statues, the Minimum Vital quartet of keyboards, guitar, bass, and drums now plays a French form of jazz fusion. The lyrics of the opening song "Dance of Wishes (Song of May)" almost sound English but they are some sort of chant. La Source is mostly instrumental music by these accomplished musicians occasionally enhanced by soft falsetto vocals. The two songs that differ from the rest are "Les Mondes de Miranda" and "Ce Qui Soustient." "Les Mondes de Miranda" has a folk music theme reminding me of Amazing Blondel except for the brass samples. "Ce Qui Soustient" is a medieval rondo from the 14th Century by Guillaum de Machant given a wonderful treatment by Minimum Vital. I could almost picture myself in a cloister listening to this song. La Source is an interesting album that marks the evolution of the band.


by Peter Thelen, 1993-10-01:

On this, their fourth outing in nine years, les frères Payssan and company continue moving boldly into new territory, while retaining the essence of the sound that makes them unique among modern French bands – offering some oblique references to the neo-Canterbury styles of Camel, Happy the Man and Sky, yet sounding like none of the aforementioned, developing those elements and attributes that set them apart from their contemporaries. The subtitle "Huit Chants de Lumière" should offer a clue: in addition to further refinements in their basic sound, they have given it new life with the inclusion of vocals on every track, although they remain primarily an instrumentally-oriented band. As always, the sound is dominated by Jean-Luc's ripping guitars and the colorful keyboard pyrotechnics of brother Thierry. Bassist Eric Rebeyrol and drummer Christophe Godet seem a bit more animated this time out and are offering more punch to the arrangements, as evidenced in the highly charged "Tabou," nine minutes of pure brilliance. Another track of special note is the acoustic guitar-driven "Les Mondes de Miranda," with its strong folk spirit, jazz and classical influences, energized guitar and accordion solos – this is quite possibly the album's strongest cut. The only fault I find in La Source is that one or two of the tracks seem a bit more lengthy than they need to be with extra and unnecessary repetition, but this is a relatively minor flaw. Overall this is an exceptional album by one France's most unique bands.


Filed under: New releases , Issue 1 , 1993 releases

Related artist(s): Jean-Luc Payssan, Minimum Vital / Vital Duo

More info

Latest news

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

(Tom Newman) - Variations on a Rhythm of Mike Oldfield - David Bedford – This is a four track EP, and is basically a Tom Newman album. It's confusing, I know. This is some of that stuff you know Oldfield and Co. did for laughs (when perhaps beer and worse entered the...  (1998) » Read more

SSI - E Pluribus Unum – SSI (Sonic Solutions, Inc.) apparently consists of California brothers Will and John Goff, who combine laptops and MIDI synths along with live and programmed percussion to create sounds reminiscent...  (2008) » Read more

Spaced Out - Evolution – After numerous releases sticking pretty close to a singular style, this appropriately titled latest studio release by the band shows them trying out some new directions, while still maintaining close...  (2009) » Read more

Pain of Salvation - The Perfect Element: Part I – Pain of Salvation are one of the few bands that comes along every now and then and redefines their genre. I mean, I don’t even care much for this particular avenue of melodic prog-metal, the...  (2001) » Read more

Iluvatar - Children – This writer's first exposure to this Baltimore area five-piece was a couple years ago via a pirate tape of their performance at Progscape #1 ('94), the second was their live performance at...  (1997) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues