by Heldon


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Heldon's real excellence as a band is dramatically demonstrated with this fine recording. A dashing young left-wing intellectual, Pinhas was something of a cult figure in his native France, or at least had the potential to be one, but he wisely rejected the role of rock & roll guitar hero with backing band, in favor of something much more interesting and radical. Patrick Gauthier on moog and Francois Auger on percussion had played with Pinhas on and off for the previous several years, and at this point they had developed into a solid sympathetic unit with a strongly rhythmic orientation. The intricate interlocking rhythms, created by percussion and several synthesizers, have a proto-techno quality at times, and suggest both the German group Can and, on at least one piece, early Ash Ra Tempel. Some of the Grateful Dead's long, free-form jams might also serve as a touchstone, and tracks like "Bal-a-fou" even begin with loose, vaguely psychedelic fragments which gradually coalesce into a very trippy and propulsive collective improvisation. On several pieces, Pinhas' Fripp-inspired guitar lines provide still another layer of intensity. The tour de force is the long title piece which ends the CD. At close to 20 minutes, it builds slowly, gradually adding layers of rhythmic complexity with drums, synthesized percussion, sequencers and Pinhas' electric guitar, which doesn't even show up until nine minutes into the piece. ~ Bill Tilland

Product Details

Release Date: 03/29/1995
Label: Cuneiform
UPC: 0045775004327
catalogNumber: 750043
Rank: 132231

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