Exposé Online banner

Miriodor — Jongleries Élastiques
(Cuneiform Rune 78, 1996, CD)

by Peter Thelen, 1996-03-01:

Jongleries Élastiques Cover art For their fourth album (fifth if you count the cassette that came out between the first and second), Miriodor has again pulled out a long list of surprises. Their sound is rooted in the chamber rock one might associate with bands like Univers Zero and Henry Cow (circa Western Culture), with touches of folk and other elements. In fact this is a hard band to pin down because each of their releases have been so different, and this latest is no exception. There are wild mood swings and time changes, odd angularities and dissonant incongruities that together make for some great listening. With the exception of "34+9(43)," which contains some unusual vocalizing, the album is entirely instrumental. The big news is the addition of guitar courtesy new member Bernard Falaise, which would have made Miriodor a four piece were it not for the more recent departure of reeds player Sabin Hudon, who stuck around just long enough to finish most of the album. The guitar certainly isn't understated — it rocks, and its presence gives the band's sound a whole new character, and in the process has moved the saxes and synths into a more natural and complimentary role. Definitely music that can be explored on many levels, each successive listen revealing something new and more interesting. Fans of seventies Crimson, UK, Zappa, Gentle Giant, and Van Der Graaf should find plenty of interest here.

by Dan Casey, 1996-03-01:

Anyone who's at all familiar with Miriodor will be immediately struck by the changes in this French-Canadian band. Where's all the synth, where's all the soprano sax melodies? The addition of Bernard Falaise (electric and acoustic guitars, basses, mandolin, synth) has had numerous positive effects on the original trio. The synth and sax are still there, but with so much burden removed they are used more sparingly and consequently much more effectively. Guitar chords, solos, and powerful effects fill up the sound nicely, as do the augmenting horn and string parts. The circus theme works surprisingly well, without limiting the emotional content as might be expected. Moods swing from upbeat and catchy ("Three Clowns") to somber and explosive ("The Little Ship's Terrible Wreck"). Miriodor have mastered the art of conveying images with their music, and each song fits its title like a glove. The quirky slide guitar and stretched-out bass on "The Caterpillar Tamer" couldn't be more appropriate. Above everything else, this is the most balanced, most intense, and most important album in this band's career. "Elastic Juggling" single-handedly demotes all prior efforts to "baby step" status, and will surely be one of the best releases come year's end. An addicting masterpiece, not to be missed. And when it's over, you'll find yourself cueing up "Igor, the Motorbike Bear" just one more time...

by Mike Grimes, 1996-03-01:

It has often been said that in music, the rests are just as important as the notes. Well, apparently this message never got through to Miriodor. Once they get rolling, they don't stop until the end. The pace varies from wicked fast to mellow and tame, but it is always driving along. Jongleries Elastiques is an hour packed full of several notes, no vocals (with lyrics anyway), complex polyrhythms, and odd harmonies galore. Their musical style covers the entire electromagnetic spectrum — from Mr. Rogers on steroids to Gentle Giant "everyone play a different song at the same time" to Tipographica-esque polymodal ostinatos without all the stops and starts. There's not a single track in a major key, and not many in natural minors either. The album is the Ferdinand Magellan of modal exploration — maybe that's why there's accordion and a progressive surf music track in the middle. How about whole tone scales? They play more whole steps before breakfast than most people do all day! Most of the progressive rock requirements are here — at least one non-standard instrument, weird time signatures, intense instrumental probing. Fans of R.I.O. and experimental progressive will have a field day with Miriodor.

Filed under: New releases , Issue 9 , 1996 releases

Related artist(s): Miriodor

More info

Latest news

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more

2018-06-13
Jon Hiseman RIP – One of the great drummers of the rock era has died. Jon Hiseman was a veteran of such ground-breaking groups as Colosseum (I and II), Tempest, John Mayal's Bleusbreakers, and was a founding member of the innovative large band United Jazz + Rock Ensemble. » Read more

2018-06-05
Koenjihyakkei Seeks Funding for New Album – It's been quite a few years since the last new studio album by the amazing Koenjihyakkei. Now they are preparing Dhormimviskha for worldwide release, and they're asking fans to pre-order via a Kickstarter campaign to help it happen. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Frágil - Avenida Larco – Peru’s entry into the symphonic rock genre came in 1981, when Frágil (named for some obscure British prog album) made their recorded debut, now reissued by Rock Symphony. Stylistically,...  (2000) » Read more

Various Artists - Tarzan Compilation – Originally on the Bla-Bla label from 1972, the Tarzan Compilation features eleven short tracks by four bands: Capsicum Red, Wells Fargo, Black Sunday Flowers, and Osage Tribe. Two of these bands...  (1995) » Read more

Harley Gaber - I Saw My Mother Ascending Mount Fuji – Gaber’s 65-minute piece for “multi-track violin, processed alto flute and tape” is, to get metaphorical (which is about the only way to really describe music), an abstract...  (2011) » Read more

Greenwall - Elektropuzzles – For this release, the “band” Greenwall consists entirely of keyboardist / programmer Andrea Pavoni. The tracks were all composed from 1994 to 1998, and comprise an interesting spectrum...  (2002) » Read more

Pendragon - Concerto Maximo – Neo-proggers Pendragon seem to have taken a cue from Yes, with five DVDs on the market since 2002. So why another one? For one thing, this commemorates the band’s 30th anniversary, plus it...  (2010) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues