Motis — L'homme-loup
(Musea MP 3062.AR, 2007, CD)
Motis — Live Crescendo
(Musea MP 3070.AR, 2007, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2008-10-01
Motis is a talented French group who create what might be called medieval progressive rock. They are deeply influenced by the literature and myths of the Knights of the Round Table, the Song of Roland, etc. The poetic lyrics on their recent studio release L’homme-loup deal with such diverse subjects as wolves, Merlin, dragons, lords and castles, and treachery. The trio of Emmanuel Tissot aka Motis (lead vocals, guitar, mandolin, bouzouki, keyboards, synths, Mellotron), Rémy Diaz (drums, percussion), and Florent Tissot (flutes, guitar, backing vocals) have a unique French progressive style with references to Ange and Malicorne. The marriage of traditional instruments with rock maintains a modern musical focus and I especially enjoy their use of the Mellotron on many of the songs. However, I might have gotten greater pleasure from the music if I understood French.
The other disc, as the title implies, is a live recording from the Crescendo International Progressive Rock Festival held in August 2007. Half of the eight songs are from L’homme-loup and the rest from earlier releases. Performing in tunics and using tree limbs for mike stands, Motis further emphasizes their medieval image. The elaborate arrangements, melodies, and interplay of acoustic instruments, flutes, percussion, and French lyrics entertained the crowd. And the charm of that performance comes through on the disc. It is also wonderful to hear many of songs from L’homme-loup performed live, warts and all. My only gripe is that Musea is usually very generous in translating the lyrics and text into English, but not this time. Some sort of translation would have been very helpful in gaining understanding of the songs. So, if you are a fan of French progressive music, be sure to investigate Motis.
Related artist(s): Motis
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more