Shylock — Île de Fièvre
(Musea FGBG 4177.AR, 1978/1997, CD)
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.
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!
Related artist(s): Shylock
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more
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 and Oregon. [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