Shylock — Île de Fièvre
(Musea FGBG 4177.AR, 1978/1997, CD)
by Dan Casey, 1997-02-01:
Finally, this reissue has arrived. Rumors of Musea releasing this French symphonic masterpiece can be traced back to as early as 1992. When Shylock's first, Giarlogues, was reissued a few years back by Musea it seemed their second, Île de Fièvre, would not be far behind. But, who cares, it is finally here, hallelujah! From the opening Elka strains of the title track to last spacey moments of the epic "Laocksetal," this four-piece band maneuvers through some tricky symphonic territory and does so always with precision, ambition, and masterful craftsmanship. Finer examples of symphonic prog-rock from this era cannot be found. The 13-minute title opus is worth the price of the disc itself, with its fluent Minimoog lines by Didier Lustig and soaring guitar leads from Frédéric L'Épée (currently of Philharmonie). The shorter middle pieces between the monster bookends are more abstract and ambiguous pieces, but they certainly showcase the band's maturity and giftedness at sculpting various moods. As a bonus, Musea have appended the original CBS album with one bonus track, of (much) lesser sonic quality, but musically every bit as exciting, and representing the band in the last stages of its brief existence. All French, all instrumental, and all outstanding. If there is only one reissue you purchase this year, this should definitely be the one. Enjoy!
by Henry Schneider, 1997-12-31:
Recording their second album in 1978, Île de Fièvre, Shylock finished their musical career with a tour de force. The six tracks from the original LP are a collection of superbly crafted symphonic rock combining influences from Rick Wakeman, Genesis, Gentle Giant, King Crimson, Zappa, and Heldon. Musea also included a seventh bonus track recorded a year after the album, just as the band was breaking up. This track, "Le Fernier," does not have the sonic clarity of the rest of the album and Shylock’s performance is subdued in comparison. As usual, Musea provides extensive liner notes covering Shylock’s history from Gialorgues to the band split in 1979. An excellent release that closes out the chapter on one of France’s finest bands of the 70s.
There's No Time Like the Present – The Belgian band Present has been one of the best avant-rock bands in the world since its formation in 1979. Over the years since then, Present has released nine amazing albums, and now they're ready to start work on number ten. They're looking for some financial help from their fans around the world. » Read more
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more
Satoko Fujii & Natsuki Tamura - South Wind, Looking out the Window & A Song for Jyaki – Pianist Satoko Fujii and her husband, trumpeter Natsuki Tamura, belong to a new genertaion of jazz performers and composers whose holistic approach to music seeks to expand the technical resources of... (1999) » Read more