Patrick Gauthier — Bébé Godzilla
(Seventh Records REX XVIII, 1981/1994, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1995-03-01
I've wished for a CD reissue of this — Patrick Gauthier's all instrumental post-Weidorje album — for many long years. Finally on December 24th I found it in a record store by total surprise. Did Santa Claus visit the store just before I arrived? Gauthier was, of course, a keyboardist in Weidorje, that mystical Magma spinoff that recorded one album and vanished. In fact he was briefly a member of Magma as well, but he is probably best known for his tenure with Richard Pinhas and Heldon. Bébé Godzilla is a potent mixture of electronics, powerful zeuhl, and jazz-rock, with a touch of classical creeping in from time to time. Naturally, as one might expect, the mix is dominated by keyboards, yet Gauthier spared no effort on assembling an outstanding cast of support musicians. The guest list is like an index of the best and most creative musicians France has to offer: Richard Pinhas, Didier Batard, Alain Bellaiche and Francois Auger from Heldon; Benoit Widemann, Bernard Paganotti and Christian Vander from Magma; Michel Ettori, Kirt Rust and Jean-Phillipe Goude, as well as brothers Alain and Yvon Guillard — all ex-members of Weidorje; Cooky Rhynoceros from Hydravion; David Rose from Transit Express. The list goes on — I think you get the picture. Musically, the project comes off shining and powerful, comparable to Jean-Philippe Goude's Drones, but a bit more jazz oriented. All considered, this one's a monster, and a must-have for anyone into the sound of Pinhas or Magma, or any points in between. Highly recommended for anyone with an ear for some essential and spirited keyboard based jazz-rock.
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more