Albert MARCOEUR: “Album à colorier” ******

Recorded 1976



Originally from Normandy, Albert Marcoeur defuses all attempts to classify his art.  In the Anglo-Saxon world, his loquacious, non-linear style is most often compared to Zappa or Captain Beefheart.  Elsewhere, faute de mieux, he is sometimes thrown into the RIO category.  The reasons could be historical (for example his legendary concerts with Zamla Mammaz Manna), but are nonetheless misleading.  It is known, for example, that Marcoeur has been rather critical of Chris Cutler’s ideology (or drumming) and reserved vis à vis improvisation. 


And in France?  In France he has been an irritant.  Many years ago, when I was still on the prowl for the elusive “Armes et cycles”, I enquired about his records at one of Paris’s premier second hand jazz shops, not far away from Pantheon.  “Ah non!” exclaimed the jazz buff.  “Non, et non.  Albert Marcoeur, c’est de la variété française!!!”.  Yet, this denigration is as questionable as those RIO or Zappa parallels.  Certainly Marcoeur never shared the glossy stages of France’s arch-moronic pop media. 


Although Marcoeur’s beginnings were in party music, he developed his style by experimenting spontaneously in studio.  The results were short, but tightly structured mosaics of rhythmic turns, capsizing harmonics, atmospheric contrasts, melancholic interjections and self-deprecating gags.


He certainly cannot sing, and therefore does not even try.  Instead he recites, half-sings, murmurs, comments and digresses.  But from his lyrics emerges a fragile, fidgety, naive mind questioning the absurdities of daily life.  His commonsensical attacks on non-reflective schematism are witty and engrossing.  His poetry, as his music, draws its vitality from brevity.  What we express in entire symphonies, Marcoeur encapsulates in a stanza.  Our epics are his aphorisms. 



Monsieur Lepousse

This ode to crowded loneliness greets us with street honking.  Everyone avoids Monsieur Lepousse, or so we learn throughout this saccadé, nervous number.  Christian Leroux’s signature guitar beadwork is endorsed here by a male chorus and clarinets courtesy Pierre Vermeire and Albert Marcoeur himself.  Marcoeur’s half-devoiced “singing” introduces us to the universe of the solitary character.  The structure of the song is fractured several times and when the narrator “steps over to the other sidewalk” to avoid Monsieur Lepousse, the time signature changes abruptly.  This bold, vigorous introduction grinds to a halt when a retarded radio commercial cuts in with a meaty Hammond organ. 


Le fugitif

A embarrassing story that could draw many interpretations.  It opens with a party talk, until a Mark Boston-like angular bass (Pascal Arroyo) rivets our attention to the periples of the narrator seeking refuge in the restrooms of coffee shops.  Despite the full-blown orchestration encompassing guitar (François Ovide), bassoon (Denis Brély), soprano saxophone (François Lassale), bass clarinet (Pierre Vermeire) and alto saxophone (Albert himself), the lead vocal has been mixed up front, à la française.  The dominance of the voice in the mix and the revolutionary character of Marcoeur’s infantile Weltanschauung generated exorbitant expectations at the time of these recordings.  But the cult following that his poetry accrued was later disavowed by the artist.  Here, he delivers the dark-humored text at hyper-speed.  Back in the restroom, the narrator is startled: “someone wants to enter” – his panic is accentuated by a vicious wind section fanfare which sounds like proto-punk jazz avant la lettre.  Were it not for the vocal mix, this could be Doctor Nerve’s downtown greeting. 

Our character is told that the café will close soon; he picks up a bundle of used toilet paper and leaves the premises.  Nobody noticed that where he was – or so we are told by a comforting trio of bass, guitar and saxophone.  He moves to another café, followed by a voyeuristic phrase from the saxophone. 


Le nécessaire à chaussures

Le nécessaire à contrastes…  Between a plaintive murmur and an ultra fast, anguished vocal eruption that prefigures punk.  Against an incessant, jerky fusion bass (Pierre Vermeire), two drums (Gérard and Claude Marcoeur) and guitar, Marcoeur spits out his story of an onset of depression after the loss of the shoeshine set and the partner’s indifference to the character’s plight.  The piece develops around a pathological clash between the hushed abandon of the storyteller and explosive vandalism from trumpet (Gérard Nouvel), trombone (Pierre Vermeire) and clarinet (Albert Marcoeur).


Le père Grimoine

With acoustic piano, Marcoeur delivers, sotto voce, a melancholical elegy for an old man who dies in his bed, witnessed only by his orphaned, thirsty plants.  The bass and drum duo of Pascal Arroyo and Claude Marcoeur is pleasantly impressionistic and emollient.  An effete, wimpish chorus sidesteps the satirical minefield and the heartfelt mood is further enhanced by Marcoeur’s breaking voice.  He quavers down to an Italian-style recitative with acoustic piano, only to receive a calibrated support, again, from the mellow rhythm section, the underwhelming chorus and bandoneon (Michel Cousin). 



This begins with an exotica-styled percussive intro, quickly overturned by a Middle Eastern flute (François Lasalle).  Imperceptibly, the dynamic surges, culminating dubiously with an overblown, strained bass clarinet sforzando and a chorus of pseudo-castrati.  This will remain an instrumental étude, distinguishing between a melodious climax, an overdrive bass and the ever vulnerable, sheepish chorus.  Despite its over-reliance on sentimental tail-offs, it works.


Le jus d’abricot

After a brief guitar and bass opening, a fanfare of fake jazz saxophones and balafon snaps with a force of a category five hurricane.  But a surprise is just around the bar.  Were it not for the obsessional, husky sax screech, we would probably be beguiled that la chanson française n’est pas loin.  In fact, Marcoeur’s non-melodic, ultra-rapid recitation is sequestred by a refrain of cleanly soaring notes that could turn him into a radio personality.  What saves him from the ignominy is the Microscopic Septet-like arrangement for strident horns (Peter McGregor, Marc Duconseille, Gérard Nouvel, Pierre Vermeire) balafon and bongos (Gérard Marcoeur).  You have to go back to Michel Portal’s early recordings (e.g. “Splendid Yzlment”) to find a similarly dissenting reed orchestration in France.


La cueillette de noix

The absurd text about a nut collector, obsessed with his annual ritual, eventually turns into a Marcoeurian version of Nicene Creed…  The texture of the composition is entirely subjugated to the power of the text.  It adumbrates, illustrates, contrasts and obscures the surrealist narrative.  Guitar, bass and baritone saxophone enter impassively, camminando.  The lullaby-like tenderness sounds somewhat fallacious, doubled with dissonant piccolos, reed pipes (Lassalle and Vermeire) and a choir of naughty boys.  As often in Marcoeur’s “songs”, constancy and continuity are poor bets.  All of a sudden, guitars and a rhythms section pick up in a distinctly ‘fusion’ mode.  François Ovide’s narration is equally transient.  A barrage of flutes and guitars strikes, tangentially accompanied by a very liberal percussion.  The bizarre ending of the “prayer” is lined with very secular saxophones.


Elle était belle

One of Marcoeur’s most memorable stories is rendered atemporal as a ballad of infatuation.  The narrator – a young saxophone player – fancies a club-going beauty, but his emotions are distinctly fragile and girlish.  Whereas in other songs, Marcoeur’s observations partake a whiff of fresh infantilism, the expressive confessions of this narrator are almost vaginal.  The male choruses reiterate the character’s longing after an inaccessible object of desire.  But then, Marcoeur’s rendition falls into a quasi-comical opera buffo territory.  “What is the name of the instrument that you play?” she asks.  “I play saxophone.  It’s ugly, she says, I like guitar better”.  The plasticity of the male chorus throws us back to the 1960s style, yet avoids the farcical reefs of doo-woop hoods or surf-‘n’beach far niente.


Fermez la porte

Pierre Vermeire’s only composition on this record is a juxtaposition of eavesdropping on a conversation, door slamming and a fin de siècle-type brass band crowned with a puerile piccolo.


La d’dans

The band’s tour de force.  The group is finally revealed as a potent dynamo of woodwind power and guitars.  Marcoeur shouts out a bizarre story of a workman whose face was covered with dirt that turned into a veritable mask, until the day it fell off and he had to look for a new job.  In a deranged exhibit of metatextual self-deprecation, the ramshackle chorus begins to quarrel, but the recording engineer encourages the gang to plod on.  We will never know if the musicians really tell us something or just play, maybe play at playing themselves.  The amusing mirror images distort Marcoeur “singing”, so closely shadowed by the guitar and exquisite drumming from Marcoeur brothers (Claude and Gérard).  The raw power of the ferocious, brazen reed section commands respect.



In a 180 degrees reversion, a very sugary brass band illustrates the conative monologue.  “Open yourself, but close the door”, supplicates the author. 




If you understand French, or can get hold of the translations, then you’ll never tire of Marcoeur’s talent as a composer and a lyricist.  For everyone else, I recommend in particular positions 1, 2, 4, 5 and 7.  Position 12 is a marvelous, albeit short, animated film graced with one of Marcoeur’s familiar themes.  The most recent addition is, unfortunately, less convincing.


1. Albert MARCOEUR: “Albert Marcoeur” (1972-73)

2. Albert MARCOEUR: “Album à colorier” (1976)

3. Albert MARCOEUR: “Armes et cycles” (1979)

4. Albert MARCOEUR / THIS HEAT: “Revue cassette Tago Mago” MC (1979)

5. Albert MARCOEUR: “Celui où y’a Joseph” (1983)

6. Albert MARCOEUR: “Compte rendu d’analyse” SP (1984)

7. Albert MARCOEUR: “Ma vie avec elles” (1985-90)

8. Albert MARCOEUR: “Sports et percussions” (1992-93)

9. Albert MARCOEUR: “M.a.r. et cœur comme le coeur” (1982-94)

10. Albert MARCOEUR: “Plusieurs cas de figure” (1998-2000)

11. Albert MARCOEUR: “L’apostrophe” (2004)

12. Albert MARCOEUR: “Bus 24” DVD (2006)

13. Albert MARCOEUR: “Travaux pratiques” (2007)


One of Marcoeur’s pieces can also be heard on the compilation entitled ”Pièces pour standards et répondeurs téléphoniques”.


Over many years, Marcoeur created dozens of musical scripts for performances and other media, but, unlike, say, Amy Denio, the artist has decided not to publish them in any form.  On the other hand, Sonic Asymmetry clings to the hope that the concerts that led to the creation of Von Zamla will eventually be published one day. 


Early in his career Marcoeur appeared on François Bréant’s records, but this was a very different music.  However, three members of Bréant’s early band joined Marcoeur’s sessions. 

Published in: on July 26, 2008 at 8:24 am  Comments (6)  
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ROCK CRITICS: “TV Show” ******

Recorded 1982


This short-lived project was the brainchild of Luc Marianni (keyboards) and Jean-François Papin (guitars, bass).  Before embarking on a phenomenal sonic journey, both were apparently music journalists in France.  They proposed cunningly knotted electronic instrumentals, seamlessly segueing magnetic narratives punctuated by intelligent use of intriguing excerpts from popular media and elegant multitracking.  The tireless torrent of mysterious fantasias would undergo scale invariant dilation in which contrived electronic parameters sound almost spontaneous. 


The experimental duo, accompanied by additional musicians, left two records.  Luc Marianni later recorded solo, initially employing an equally tasteful, ionized medium. 



Rock News

The LP begins at the very low end of the dynamic range.  From the silence burgeons acoustic piano (Patricia Albertini), and then electric organ.  Suave guitar interrogates this combination.  A different, psycho-acoustic guitar cascades idly in an empty room.  Tardily, this amorphous, ambient wave becomes more audible.  A lethargic, mid-afternoon synthesizer swings drowsily.  A sudden swat from a hand drum and a tense, yet still apathetic guitar line notify us of the impending mutations.  Poorly tuned second guitar struggles to echo this note.  When it fails, it is substituted by a more determined guitar in a (Snakefinger-ish) higher range.  An obsessive piano supplies the rhythm in fours.  We observe an increasingly emotional dialogue between the two guitars – one chaotic and hysterical, the other one posed and rational.  They alternate in their statements, but sometimes try to dominate the exchange.  The holistic dynamic swells minimalistically – striking roots in the proximity of a surreptitious keyboard scale.  At least two of the three instruments patronize the beat, but it is up to an intrusive organ chord passage to bring a rhythmic change.  The tempo doubles.  The regularity remains, but the proportions change.  The drum will always be there, unobtrusive, but unequivocal.  ‘Residential’, wordless sloganeering introduces a menace.  The fuzzed guitar improvises freely against the organ/piano rhythm pattern.  If Thierry Muller used such hydroplaning rhythmic loops then this is how his Ilitch could have evolved.  An echoing vocal cuts through this electro-sphere, but only to emphasize the increasingly fast guitar phrasing.  Endlessly interlocking guitar vortices are too fast to be trippy and too extramundane to be tribal.  But they sure are hypnotic.  A form of hyper-competitive systemic bravura for cyber dervishes ?  Finally, a murky, but carefree piano exercise slows things down.  Austenitic steel strings and a prosaic rhythm box patting take a while to vanish underneath. 


TV Show

Here again, acoustic piano opens, effete and inarticulate.  It is joined by blithe percussion.  A tragic biographical text is being read, but breaks down in mid-sentence.  A tranquil piano theme continues in autumnal mode, without ever developing into a hummable tune.  A very 1980s’ (Wire, Cure) manipulated guitar synchronizes with the piano, somewhat superfluously.  The permeable piano turns nonchalant whereas the occasional texts become warbled and indistinguishable.  Synthesized percussive effects swish around.  Anti-melodic, detached vocal hesitates between DDAA-like condensation and Damo Suzuki’s manic stress on second syllable.  The keyboard cum piano theme is now almost pastoral, never too far from Dominique Lawalree’s ‘nonbient’ creations.  More abstract passage will juxtapose the same downcast piano and earnestly alarming, highly pitched electric guitar.  Many tapes will be overlaid here – microtonal slices of synthesizer, doubtful choral wailing, a grandfather clock, ceremonial children’s choirs, deviant Hawaiian guitars.  This cut is dedicated to German band Faust.


Love Rock

The LP ends with this short vignette for sustained notes of a dim, muzzled organ and water droplets.  Slowly unfolding, almost phlegmatic acoustic guitar explores this register, enveloping something of a refrain.  But each reprise will differ slightly, until the eventual extinction. 




Rock Critics left only two oeuvres and several contributions to early 1980s’ compilations.  Luc Marianni’s early solo recordings are equally recommended, even though their rhythmic structures are less pronounced.  Sonic Asymmetry will return to these recordings one day.


ROCK CRITICS: “Pile ou face” (1980)

Luc MARIANNI: “Souvenir du future” (1980)

ROCK CRITICS: “TV Show” (1982)

Luc MARIANNI: “DG Portrait” (1982)

Luc MARIANNI: “Voyage vers l’harmonie” (1982)


Luc MARIANNI: “Six Synthetic Suites” (1985-1986)


Marianni continued to record, but what I heard from his later output was too embarrassing to be included here.  





Published in: on June 6, 2008 at 6:42 am  Leave a Comment  
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Jacques THOLLOT: “Quand le son devient aigu, jeter la giraffe à la mer” *****

Recorded 1971


Originating from the 1960s’ French jazz scene, Jacques Thollot left a string of unclassifiable recordings ranging from free neo-expressionist explorations for keyboard and percussion to ornate, carefully arranged baroque jazz. But Thollot’s imagination was too rich to enclose him within jazz idiom. His instrumentals, proportional and highly inventive, are often fragile and elusive. His rich arrangements were as lofty as they were airy. Formally impeccable, they were never academic.


Were it not for his first LP, issued on a highly collectible Futura label, Thollot would have probably remained virtually unknown outside France. He deserves a much wider renown among adventurous listeners worldwide.



The record starts with a dry, obsessive, bell-like piano stuck in high register, with a subordinated, more full-bodied acoustic piano at the back. The repetitive figure’s percussive sounds and flat hi-hats leave haunting after-images. The percussive keyboard is gradually arpeggiated. When the sound suddenly clears we realize that all we have heard thus far was deeply muffled. Now the screen is gone and we are fronted by a full percussion kit, a marching drum, and a guiro. The hypnotic, circular theme bathes in an aura of mystery and the increasingly brittle arpeggios prefigure Florian Fricke’s notorious “Ah!” a year later.


Position stagnante de réaction stationnaire

Contrary to the title, this polyrythmic, but subtly melodic drumming evolves into a tremolo, slowing down, then up, then down again. Most membranes are high-pitched and some sticks touch the frames instead. This will be Thollot’s trademark technique throughout this record.


Enlevez les boulons, le croiseur se désagrère

Liquid sounds from a tone generator (this is 1971 and Thollot does not operate here a fully-fledged synthesizer) are followed by several figures from the piano, then a sound of lower manual harpsichord, all too soon distorted into a poorly projected, faint music box ersatz. The tinny sound alternates with another keyboard that rushes with the speed of Conlon Nancarrow’s player piano. Occasional entries by electric organ close this chapter.


Mahagony extraits

Lukewarm, low-resonance piano solo intones Kurt Weill’s 20th century European classic. There is some dissonant quality to the timbre of Thollot’s instrument and its tuning recreates an aura of an abandoned ballroom, filled only with the performer’s early morning loneliness.


Qu’ils se fassent un village ou bien c’est nous qui s’en allons

Here the piano is in a more heroic mood, supported by drums and megaphone voices echoing in a large hall. This filtered noise gains numerical superiority over the struggling instruments.


Aussi long que large

Thollot was, first and foremost, a drummer and this drum solo, probably electronically processed, is characterized by an extraordinary fluidity and dexterity. There are moments of premeditated hesitation, although Thollot does not employ negative spaces or straightforward silence. The tempos are additive, but irregular and the dynamic range is quite extreme.


Quiet days in prison

Futura’s original is not telling us who plays the mournful cello solo to the piano’s delicate accompaniment. As the mystery player alternates between D and A strings, the composition retains a very lyrical, romantic quality.


De D.C. par J.T.

Thollot’s rendering of Don Cherry’s theme is built around a high-baroque scale progression, albeit with more anthemic openings. His trademark, ever-shifting percussive support competes for space with the domineering piano. The latter will end on a chime-like set of notes.


Virginie ou le manque de tact

Purposefully, the composition provokes disgust by exposing us to a braying child’s eerily low voice. We then hear again Thollot in another drum solo with most elements from earlier tracks – bright passages rattled over the full range of drums, but almost no cymbal work. The unpleasant, sobbing voice recurs, and when the tape accelerates to its natural speed for a moment we have no doubt that the intuitive recognition of a brat was correct. The drum solo will close this section…



…only to open this one. A speedy piano repetition is never too far behind, with occasional supra-harmonic assistance from an organ. This is a very fast-moving piece.


Aussi large que long

The most abstract track yet will also be the longest on this record. Its coarse texture relies largely on the exploration of fast damped piano chords and percussive brushwork. In higher registers, the pianist allows for a slower decay, quite against the natural capacity of the instrument. The perspective in this non-representational composition is unusually flattened. Pattern recognizability seems to be of no concern to Thollot. The result is best reserved for those who delight in the raw juxtaposition of piano and drums, devoid of expressive bass lines.


Quand le son devient aigu, jeter la girafe à la mer

The title track opens with a very New Orleans-sounding piano line, but a high-pitched keyboard unexpectedly transports us to 1970s Italian soundtracks. Double keyboard and drums will, with some trouble, oscillate around this annunciatory melodic line. This part segues awkwardly into another free passage for piano and drums. The keyboard attack is more pronounced than on the previous track and the drums stick to a purely demonstrative role.



Yes, this is an urban march complete with the hacking meter and the proud piano line.


A suivre

A far too short coda picks up where the opening “Cécile” left off 40 minutes ago – a piano-organ-drums interplay, as if to invite us for a second listen.




After this very free debut, Thollot opted for a string of more melodic recordings. Fragments of his tunes could be found interwoven in new compositions, most recently in mid-1990s. But he probably reached his creative climax on “Cinq hops”.


Jacques THOLLOT: “Quand le son devient aigu, jeter la giraffe à la mer” (1971)

Jacques THOLLOT: “Watch Devil Go” (1974, 1975)

Jacques THOLLOT: “Résurgence” (1977)

Jacques THOLLOT: “Cinq hops” (1978 )

Jacques THOLLOT: “Tenga niña” (1995)


There are certainly other recordings that I did not have a chance to hear. Jacques Thollot should not be confused with the much younger François Thollot who early this century created two highly acclaimed avant-prog collections.


Published in: on May 24, 2008 at 8:05 pm  Comments (1)  
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PALO ALTO: “Asphodèles de l’asphalte” ****

Recorded between 1989 and 1992


Palo Alto was a French quartet active in the 1990s. Denis Frajerman, Jacques Barbéri, Philippe Perreaudin and Philippe Masson successfully reconciled two distinct musical traditions – quintessentially Gallic miniatures and a very un-French approach to studio processing. The results were stupefying. The pictorial depth of their recordings could only be matched by Denis Frajerman’s solo adventures. Their rich, phantasmagorical paysages were populated by odd shapes and eerie shadows. This was rock electronics of volcanic creativity.


The band disappeared from sight around 2000. More recently, a number of archival recordings saw the light of the French day (with, regrettably, little light anywhere else). The collection presented here was among them.


After several cameo appearances on various tribute records (Ptose, Coil), the band resurfaced live and finally published a new CD in late 2007. They seem to be active again, publishing music, video and books.


Le chant posthume

Self-declared overdrive bass opens the record as if evoking the zeuhl heritage. Il n’en est rien. This piece and the entire record will be strongly rooted in the then inescapable tradition of post-new wave stylisms and Residents-like nightmares. Following a sequence of faux tubular bells, a quasi hysterical female vocalism sidetracks our attention. But instead, a slow progression on keyboards remains stuck in pentatonic scale. The “song” closes with unsettling ingressive vocal sounds.


Asphodèle de l’asphalte

Mechanical mambo jolts from the rhythm box, accompanied by a very juicy electric bass which will define the record’s title piece. This simple repetitive melody will see no development, despite, or may be because of a somewhat anemic Middle Eastern phrasing.


Madame la charcutière

This is little more than an epigrammatic piano vignette. Two female voices, courtesy Claire and Nathalie, turn the nascent melody into a non-sequitur.


Séquence 4

Manipulated, growling voices open this sequence. Deeper, subharmonic layers provide a canvas for sharp snippets of alto sax loops. Independently, percussive pattering envelopes a sketchy keyboard melody and grows in intensity, but will not obscure the melodic line.


Les flots sont moins bleus que les sables

After an all-too-short intro on maghrebian recorder, over-familiar electronic pulse zooms in. Luckily, hyperactive balalaika soon floods us with rapid figures, contending for space with vaguely Middle Eastern harmonics. It is then substituted by a pre-dawn clarinet. One searches for references to Joseph Racaille, but in vain.



Formulaic tune played by Denis Frajerman on multi tracked keyboards in a shrugging Klimperei style.


Monsters are Bach

We revisit the Residents recipe – marching aliens, distorted voices at triple speed and mechanic reversals of muscular electro-feedback. Squeezed into this stomping, the keyboard theme is actually less straightforward than in the previous pieces.



Innocuous rhythm box hails from deep in the 1980s – an unabashedly new wavy reminiscence. Were it not for the spastic balalaika in the background, the tune could almost be adorned with affected vocals à la the Cure.


Paysage: nul chant d’oiseau

Simplistic electronic meter chops about for another meal of pentatonic figures. But then we are reached by austere effects of untuned strings. The resonating twang evokes African kora, but we should not be misled, as the sound apparently emerges from a cheap keyboard that Philippe found at a flea market. The mixed-down balalaika returns, bridging those dull pizzicato explorations with the mutant rhythm.


Musique de l’enfer 1

The ghastliness of this miniature will barely attain the standard of the B-movie. The somewhat ramshackle beat will brake before we have even noticed.


Musique de l’enfer 2

This is a more exploratory dance macabre, adorned with echoing alto sax. The morbid, electronic pulse recalls, this time again, the Residents.


Avant la naissance

This number is based on a procedure well known since 1960s – a tape recording, here with a text in French, cut short and sent through a loop. After several seconds, the repetition graces us with an irregular rhythm until new loops of other conversations and radio announcements are overlaid on top. Fortunately, the collage never becomes too dense. After nearly 3 minutes this sonic sauce is supplemented by a heavily processed source of electronic origin, but it will not materially alter the original theme. Henceforth, the track develops along two surfaces. Jacques Barbéri’s strident alto saxophone cuts through this mass until the electro-throb returns and drowns out all the other contributions.



The next two compositions present Palo Alto as a quintet and are more consciously developed. Here melodramatic recitation by Marie-Laurence Amouroux extrudes phonemic values from the interplay of pre-programmed rhythm-box and a warm bass clarinet. The alto saxophone, as often on this collection, soars independently. Philippe Masson multiplies the grating mechanical beats.


Le pont

Another anti-chanson. This one approaches the style developed several years before by Alesia Cosmos. The stripped down female voice seems to be slowing down the hesitant theme. The reeds contribute sparsely to the overall cartoonish image.


La quatuor vocale

The last recording is something of a throwaway – an experiment of a multi-tracked vocal contributed by Philippe Perreaudin.




All those who wish to uncover Palo Alto’s other jewels, here are some recommendations:


PALO ALTO: Le close (1990)

PALO ALTO: Grand succédanés (1992)

PALO ALTO: Asphodèle de l’asphalte (1989-1992)

PALO ALTO: Excroissance (1993) MC

PALO ALTO: Trash et artères (1993-1994)

PALO ALTO: Le disque dur (1996)

PALO ALTO: Trans Plan (1998 )

PALO ALTO / KLIMPEREI: Mondocane (1995-2000)

PALO ALTO: Terminal sidéral (2005-2007)

VARIOUS ARTISTS: Pogs Box (2001), remixes

Denis FRAJERMAN: Mandibules (1990, 1994) MC

Denis FRAJERMAN – PALO ALTO Solo: Le souffle du vide (1992-1995)

Denis FRAJERMAN: Drosophiles (1995) MC

Denis FRAJERMAN – Jacques BARBERI – PALO ALTO: Le nom des arbres (1996)

Denis FRAJERMAN: Les suites Volodine (1997)

Denis FRAJERMAN: Fasmes vol.1 (1997)

Denis FRAJERMAN: Macau Peplum (1996-1999)