Exposé Online banner

Patrick Gauthier — Clinamens
(Arcangelo RC-1168, 2016, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2017-09-12

Clinamens Cover art

French keyboardist Patrick Gauthier is not one to flood the market with product, and when he does release something new, it’s always worthy of note. A former member of Schizo, Heldon, Magma, and more importantly, Weidorje, he has only released four albums since 1981 (although he has contributed to many), and Clinamens is probably his most impressive endeavor to date. Across the ten tracks at hand, Gauthier’s compositions superbly fall within the spirit of the zeuhl sound, but his arrangements are far more skeletal instrumentally (on nine of the cuts, the only instrument is piano), whereas the haunting and cascading mostly wordless vocal arrangements (handled most capably by Antoine and Himiko Paganotti) are what really make this material here stand out. The voice parts overlay and intertwine, like a complex fabric brilliantly twisting around and crossing over the basic melodies and percussion of Gauthier’s piano, sometimes soft and gentle, sometimes more punctuative, and like all good zeuhl, repitition is important; the effect is almost magical. Three of the cuts do have lyrics, and on two of those (“Nathalie C.” and L’Oiseau”) the addition of third singer Isabelle Carpentier ratchets up the shiver factor even more. Some may remember the Weidorje track “Vilna” (it’s one of three cuts on the original LP), and Gauthier presents a fresh new version of that piece here, with a arrangement compatible with the rest of the pieces, with none other than bassist Bernard Paganotti (who played on the original) joining in. The disc closes with a solo piano version of “Sur un Marche Persan,” a vocal track presented in the number four spot. In summary, this is mighty powerful music, beginning to end, and every fan of the zeuhl style should have this.

Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases

Related artist(s): Patrick Gauthier, Bernard Paganotti

Latest news

Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more

Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more

10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more

Tom Rapp RIP – Singer / songwriter Tom Rapp, best known with the band Pearls Before Swine, passed away on February 12, at the age of 70, after a battle with cancer. » Read more

Previously in Exposé...

Dogma - Album – In my opinion, this is what a neo-progressive album should sound like. Dogma's debut is an excellent album, very much in the instrumental style that Pendragon started on with the second part of...  (1993) » Read more

Listen & discover

Print issues