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Toboggan — Première Descente
(Bandcamp no#, 2021, CD / DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2021-03-23

Première Descente Cover art

Following a live EP from 2019, French trio Toboggan have released their first full length studio release, as the title suggests, working on it through much of 2020. The band features guitarist / keyboardist / synthesist and composer Etienne Mazoyer (he also did the recording, mixing and mastering), drummer Victor Bernard and bassist Yoann Chillault. The nine tracks herein offer what could be considered an instrumental avant-garde jazz rock sound, one track might be a bit more jazz (usually when Mazoyer is playing keyboards), while another is crazy shreeding rock when he’s playing guitar, though in either case the sound seems to be in a constant state of well organized pandemonium, though offered up in a clever way that offers the listener an interesting vista where aggressive guitar drives the show amid a brutal attack from the rhythm section. Occasionally the band dials it back for a more molodic escape, though often enough this is all happening together. “Rezzz” at just over nine minutes goes all over the place, a tasty yet elongated romp that jumps all around shifting gears as it goes, taking no prisoners as the synthesizer warbles and weaves like Herbie Hancock in a museum of mirrors.The songs tend to either be short, in the two minute range or less (“Impro Jazz” clocks on just under a minute) or longer compositions in the nine to twelve minute range typified by the opener “Carburature,” a piece that seems to be always shifting around restlessly with a seemingly effortless complexity, fusing rock, funk, jazz elements, at an often mind-numbing pace. As a purely instrumental group, they offer a brilliant stew of ideas, wall to wall complexity when needed, and a perfect cornucopia of melodic shades and intensities. Comparisons? Not sure, maybe a visit to their Bandcamp page might offer some ideas

Filed under: New releases, 2021 releases

Related artist(s): Toboggan

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