Serge Bringolf — Strave
(Soleil Zeuhl 27, 1980/2011, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2013-04-01Magma has been known to lean into jazzy territory from time to time, and the Canterbury bands (Soft Machine, Matching Mole) did so even more strongly. Bringolf brings elements of both zeuhl and Canterbury together into an interesting flavor of music. If you're prone to classifying things, you'd probably say this is jazz - large ensemble fusion specifically - though the more Magma-esque touches might throw you off. But hey, they're European, so maybe you don't expect it to be real jazz anyway. The core of this 1980 recording (originally a double LP) is Bringolf at the drums and bassist François Grillot; a brass section, strings, and mallet percussion round out the sound. And of course there's a vocal section as well, providing parts in true zeuhl tradition. All four side-long tracks from the original release are presented with good sound quality - a very live feeling - with my only complaint being a slight lack of oomph in the low end on the bass, but that's perhaps the tone Grillot used on his fretless electric. The musicianship throughout is outstanding, with every player getting a moment in the spotlight, and the compositions are quite solid as well, full of interesting twists and sections. At times, there's a similarity to the extended Mahavishnu on Visions of the Emerald Beyond. Given its genre-straddling sound, Strave is a worthy gem that should should appeal to fans of both jazz and progressive rock without alienating either side.
Related artist(s): Serge Bringolf
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more
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