Exposé Online banner

Philharmonie — Rage
(Cuneiform Rune 84, 1996, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1996-08-01

Rage Cover art

Perhaps a bit of history is in order. Philharmonie began in the late 80s as strictly a guitar trio, led by former Shylock guitarist Frederic L'Epée. Their first album, Beau Soleil, was a very fluid yet somewhat low key affair, but surely enjoyable. With the second album, The Elephant Bell Ringers, came a move to Cuneiform, and a sound that more closely paralleled Fripp's League of Crafties or the California Guitar Trio. For the third album, Nord, a drummer was added to the lineup, and their sound became more varied through using a wider range of instruments (including Bernard Ros' new full time position on the Chapman Stick). Rage is their fourth album and marks a big step forward on many fronts. The first change one may recognize is the strength of the compositions, which now seem to have a better sense of purpose, as opposed to being subservient to the three-guitar format. Another is the wider use of guitar effects and instrumental variety. But the most immediately noticeable change is in drummer Jean-Louis Boutin – he's actually doing something besides following the guitars, now adding a whole new dimension to the group-written material, and handling the kit in a more conventional way, giving their sound more backbone. Don't misunderstand, the music still reaches those wonderful intricate heights where multi-guitars weave a complex tapesty of interlocking arpeggios that will leave you breathless, but there's a lot more to their sound this time out and I'm sure most listeners will be pleased. If one liked the earlier discs, then this disc is certainly one to check out. For any readers that have never heard Philharmonie before, this is definitely the place to check them out. Highly recommended.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 10, 1996 releases

Related artist(s): Philharmonie

Latest news

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
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

2017-09-26
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


Previously in Exposé...

Stick Man - Mysterious Female – Colorado's Neil Haverstick is now simply "Stick Man." For this writer, there used to be some shock value listening to music played on 19 tone (and even more unusual) scales, but after listening to...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues