Exposé Online banner

Noetra — Neuf Songes
(Musea FGBG 4034.AR, 1981/1992, CD)

by Rob Walker, 1994-02-01:

Neuf Songes Cover art This is fabulous, very intricate and occasionally dark, somewhat Canterburyish kind of stuff. The pieces are mellow and rolling as well as intense and energetic, the writing is excellent, and there is over 70 minutes of great music on this Musea CD. The instrumentation is based around a beautiful clean electric guitar, delicate and tasteful drumming, bass, violin, and oboe/flute with a bunch of other strings and woodwinds helping out. At some points it veers towards a 20th century classical style, where the drums drop out and there is some great woodwind and string polyphony, but for the most part the drumming and bass keep the music moving along at quite a palatable clip for most prog listeners. This album creates the same mysteriously peaceful kind of feeling I get from Laurent Thibault, and also at times reminds me of the group Oregon. The Canterbury component of the sound is kind of a mix of early Henry Cow, Hatfield, and National Health, though you shouldn't get the impression that Noetra goes off on "Dreams Wide Awake" type jams. The intensity on Neuf Songes is created by the wonderful composition, dynamics, and controlled dissonance.

by Henry Schneider, 1993-12-31:

Even though the title of this CD reissue is Neuf Songes (Nine Musings), there are thirteen. Noetra recorded these thirteen thought provoking “musings,” one to ten minutes in length, between November 1979 and August 1981. Noetra, a large ensemble, featured: Jean Lapouge (composer, guitar), Christian Paboeuf (flute and oboe), Daniel Renault (drums), Denis Lefranc (bass), Pierre Aubert (violin), Pascal Leberre (clarinet and soprano sax), Francis Michaud (tenor sax and flute), Denis Vollet (cello), Claude Lapouge (trombone), Jacques Nobili (trombone), and Laurent Tardif (alto flute). Noetra successfully straddled the interface between rock, classical chamber music, and jazz without creating background music or falling prey to avant garde excess. Neuf Songes reminded me of the album Un Certain Pays by another obscure French band Human. Both bands created a unique blend of these musical styles. If bands like Art Zoyd, Third Ear Band, and Universe Zero stimulate you, but you prefer music a bit more in the mainstream, then Neuf Songes is for you.

Filed under: Reissues , 1992 releases, 1981 releases

Related artist(s): Noetra

More info

Latest news

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Moby Trip - NKU – Moby Trip is a trio from New Zealand operating in the retro-psych realm. The band features guitars, bass, and drums, with the guitarist doubling on keyboard programming, and vocal duties shared by...  (1999) » Read more

Glass Hammer - The Inconsolable Secret – One could arguably claim that this release finds American prog band Glass Hammer at the top of their game, which probably explains the scope of this effort. First of all, it s a two-disk set in a...  (2006) » Read more

Mastermind - Broken – The cover says this is a CD single / EP, but the total playing time is 44 minutes – hell, that’s longer than the full length In-a-gadda-da-vida LP, so what gives? As it turns out, the...  (2006) » Read more

Museo Rosenbach - Rare, Unreleased & Live '72 – Museo Rosenbach's Zarathustra is one of the greatest symphonic/classical rock works of all time and has yet to be surpassed in the genre. These two titles are posthumous releases of live and demo...  (1996) » Read more

Popol Vuh - Shepherd's Symphony – Those of us who grew up listening to Popol Vuh in the 70s recall a sound that was at times haunting and other times shimmering and uplifting. Regardless of the album, Popol Vuh created atmospheres...  (1998) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues