Sens — Les Regrets d'Isidore D.
(Mellow MMP 370, 1999, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2000-10-01It took me a little while to warm up to Sens, but once I did, I found myself listening over and over again. The first thing a listener notices about the band is the dramatic singing of Pascal Bouquillard, the lush array of keyboard sounds, and the melodic lead guitar, but what hooked me in the end was the drumming of Stéphane Geille, strong and inventive, full of subtle rhythmic flourishes. The arrangements feature many atmospheric touches courtesy, I suppose, of Vyncent, credited for “every single funny sound or noise you will like.” Comparisons with Ange are inevitable, and it’s not just the fact that it’s progressive rock with French lyrics. The sense of dynamics is similar, the knack they have for taking a long piece and building tension, releasing it, and building it again. Luckily Ange’s warbly organ is nowhere to be heard. The seven tracks range in length from “Sagesse” at a little over two minutes to the 24-minute “La Bête du Gévaudan.” My favorites are the opener, “Marthe à la Niut,” which goes from a quiet string synth intro to a beautiful twin guitar lead to a cooking riff in seven, and “Jeu de Patience,” which provides some of the most aggressive playing on the disc. Vocalist Bouquillard has an impressive range and a highly dramatic delivery, not something you can have in the background and half-listen to. He plays bass, and shares guitar and keyboard duties with the aforementioned Vyncent and Benoît Campedel. It’s been a long time since a French prog band caught my attention, but Sens could be a long-term fave if they keep putting out albums as good as this one.
Related artist(s): Saens (Sens)
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more
François Couturier - Nostalghia - Song for Tarkovsky – The films of the late Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky have been widely acclaimed in international circles for over thirty years. Pianist François Couturier has taken as inspiration characters,... (2007) » Read more