Exposé Online banner

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

by Dan Casey, 1996-03-01:

Jongleries Élastiques Cover art 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.

by Peter Thelen, 1996-03-01:

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.

Filed under: New releases , Issue 9 , 1996 releases

Related artist(s): Miriodor

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...

Galahad - Sleepers – I haven't been keeping up to date with Galahad, the last album I had heard was their first CD Nothing Is Written from more years ago than I care to remember. Based on that album I had written them off...  (1996) » Read more

Shine (Buckethead, Bill Laswell, Shin Terai) - Heaven and Hell – Given the list of participants in this recording (Buckethead, Bill Laswell, and Shin Terai with Nicky Skopelitis, Bernie Worrell and Robert Musso), several possibilities come to mind. It could be a...  (2004) » Read more

Akasha - Akasha – This is a reissue of one of Norway's classics, the self-titled debut by Akasha. This is definitely one for symphonic freaks and not for the Mellotron-whiners as this album has more 'Tron than...  (1995) » Read more

Jeff Greinke - Lost Terrain – This is one of Jeff Greinke’s best releases to date and definitely worth the words “an ambient music classic.” Greinke’s inspiration comes from both Brian Eno and Jon Hassell,...  (1999) » Read more

Fish - Sunsets on Empire – Fish’s fourth studio solo album is out (as an import, domestically available sometime in July along with the new Marillion as well) and this is the one he has promised his fans for a long time...  (1997) » Read more



Listen & discover

Stravinsky rocks!



Print issues