Exposé Online banner

Wapassou — Ludwig (Un Roi pour L'Eternité)
(Musea FGBG 4113.AR, 1978/1994, CD)

Wapassou — Messe en Ré Mineur
(Musea FGBG 4111.AR, 1976/1994, CD)

Wapassou — Salammbô
(Musea FGBG 4112.AR, 1977/1994, CD)

by Henry Schneider, 2016-04-04:

Ludwig (Un Roi pour L'Eternité) Cover artMesse en Ré Mineur Cover artSalammbô Cover art

Originally recorded in July 1976 Messe en ré mineur is one of the best psychedelic / progressive releases of all time. This unsurpassed musical tour de force consists of one long song that constantly shifts and changes throughout its 40 minute life span. The music harkens back to the even more ancient music’s of Pink Floyd’s "Interstellar Overdrive" and Tangerine Dream’s cosmic freak-out "Ultima Thule." The interplay of Freddy Brua’s keyboards, Karin Nickerl’s guitar, Jacques Lichti’s violin, and Eurydice’s wordless chanting is exciting and innovative even by today’s standards. This reissue is a must for the adventurous music collector and listener alike. Musea faithfully reproduced the original album art on both the booklet and CD. Unfortunately, if you can’t read French you will be at a total loss regarding the liner notes and band history.


by Peter Thelen, 1994-10-01:

Wapassou was a unique classically influenced French band that existed from around 1971 through the mid-80s (their last release was in 1986). These three — their second, third and fourth albums respectively — represent what is generally accepted as the band's finest material. Their sound could be described as a gentle and perhaps understated symphonic rock, rich with color and cultural influences, elaborate and animated. The lineup consisted of Freddy Brua (bandleader and keyboards), Karin Nickerl (guitars), and Jacques Lichti (violin), plus guests on vocals. Fernand and Gisele Landmann (lights and sound, respectively) were also considered part of the lineup. No drums, no bass. This gave the band its unique character, which could in some terms be likened to Art Zoyd, but with a brighter and more colorful outlook, less angular and more flowing. Messe en Ré Mineur (Mass in D minor) is the most highly regarded of the three, containing one long forty-minute piece (for those who owned the LP version, the two sides have been properly joined) winding through many different themes and melodic developments, with ethereal vocals by Eurydice (no lyrics). It is at once delicate and stunning, a masterpiece of shimmering beauty.

With Salammbô, named for the heroine in the Flaubert novel, Wapassou move boldly forward based on the timeless theme of the stupidity of war. This one features an opening narration, galloping horses, some lyrics (in French) and vocals by Monique Fizelson. Musically, it's a step in a more assertive, less ethereal direction, and again consists essentially of one long suite in two parts, this time split at the sides (there was no fade-out / fade-in on the original LP ).

Ludwig, as might be expected, is the more overtly classically influenced of the three, and uses synthesizers to a greater degree than the previous two, as well as plenty of organs and keyboard bass, and vocals by Véronique Nickerl. Mostly consisting of one long piece "Un Roi pour Eternité" (now fused into one continuous 34 minute track), it also features a short cover of Wagner's "Lac de Starnberg," a shorter track, "L'Adieu du Roi," which features Marc Dolisi guesting on ARP synthesizer, and for good measure Musea has even included a bonus track, the six-minute "Hymne au Nouveau Romanticisme." Three great discs, all highly recommended, although folks addicted to the steady beat of rock drums might be advised to proceed with caution.


Filed under: Reissues , Issue 5 , 1994 releases, 1978 releases, 1994 releases, 1976 releases, 1994 releases, 1977 releases

Related artist(s): Wapassou

More info

Latest news

2021-04-01
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more

2021-03-25
Return of Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files – After much consideration and surprisingly, positive feedback, Jerry Lucky is announcing the launch of the progressive Rock Files podcast, featuring the latest progressive rock music from around the world. » Read more

2021-03-14
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more

2021-03-11
RIP Roger Trigaux – The sad news has come to our attention that Roger Trigaux, the guiding force of Present and former member of Univers Zero, passed away on the evening of March 10, 2021 after a long ilness. » Read more

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Krokodil & Düde Dürst - An Invisible World Revealed & Krokodil Solo – Krokodil is a rock band — let's make no mistake. Their strong points are the guitars and vocals. However on An Invisible World Revealed they have mixed in two tracks with a mid-eastern feel...  (1996) » Read more

Giustio Pio - Missa Populi – Working around the familiar theme of the Roman Catholic Mass, Italian composer Giusto Pio has created a splendid and meticulously crafted work featuring a large choir, flutes and other woodwinds,...  (1997) » Read more

Frequency Drift - Personal Effects (Part Two) – Frequency Drift is primarily the effort of German keyboardist Andreas Hack, though he’s joined by a large group of supporting players that includes three female vocalists, three guitar players,...  (2011) » Read more

D.F.A. - Lavori in Corso – Rarely has a new Italian progressive created an album of this caliber; DFA have really put a lot of work into making an album of incredible complexity and depth for their premier run. This is Italian...  (1997) » Read more

Wendy Carlos - Sonic Seasonings + – Proving that you have to go back before Brian Eno to find the roots of ambient electronic music, we now finally have the reissue of one of the field’s first classics, Wendy Carlos’ Sonic...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues