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Track List: 1. Pas Encore 8:03 2. Unique au Monde 8:40 3. Mise au Point 1:57 4. Rangers 7:46 5. L'etroit Huit 8:17 6. Vision Intempestive 9:27 7. Ecco 8:23 8. Ragnarok 8:11 9. Villiers 7:44 10. Pzkr 4:39 All music: by Musique Noise, except 3: by Xavier De Raymond (ex-Eskaton). All lyrics: by Musique Noise, except 3: by Xavier De Raymond & 4: by Nietzche. All arrangements: by Musique Noise. Line-up: Isabelle Bruston - vocals Jean-Philippe Gallet - vocals; saxophone Denis Levasseur - synthesizers & piano Philippe Zarka - drums & percussion Frederic Huynh - basses Xavier De Raymond - piano & synthesizer (on 6, 7, 8, & 9) Simon Bot-Ban-Jok - saxophone (on 6, 7, 8, & 9) Cornelia Schmid - vocals (on 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, & 10) Recorded by M. Rozenberg & A. Tahir: at "Boomerang" studio. Mixed by J-C. Agostini: at the same (Eskaton's) studio.
Preamble. "Fulmines Integralis" is the only album by the French band Musique Noise, which existed from 1986 to 1992. Originally, Musea released this album on LP in 1989. In 1992 however, the band composed and recorded four new songs, which weren't released until the end of last year when Musea decided to reissue "Fulmines Integralis" on CD. Here, these four songs are located on tracks from 6 to 9. Also, it must be mentioned that this album was performed and recorded with the assistance of a few members of the excellent Zeuhl band Eskaton.
The Album. It is well known that Eskaton were both heavily and happily influenced by Magma - especially in their early period. Musique Noise, in their turn, can be regarded as very successful followers of Eskaton - of the band's latest creation, to be precise, and their last and most original album, "Fiction" (1983), in particular. There are some shades of the most influential French band on "Fulmines Integralis", though overall, the music on this album is more complex and, at the same time, lighter than that on most, if not all, of Magma's albums. Although Musique Noise are also about Zeuhl overall, there are not that many of the features that are typical for Classic Zeuhl on their only album. The music on the first four tracks on the CD: Pas Encore, Unique au Monde, Mise au Point, and Rangers, represents a blend of Zeuhl, Classic Jazz-Fusion (think of Zao and earliest Return To Forever), and Classic Symphonic Art-Rock with a few elements of a free jazz. Here, as well as on most of the other tracks on the album, all the instrumental and vocal arrangements are highly complex and are in the state of a constant development, and the number of vocal and purely instrumental parts is approximately equal. While a general 'vocal formula' (a mixed, female & male, choir) on this album is in some ways close to those in the music of Magma and Eskaton, the way of singing is probably the most unique and impressive feature of Musique Noise's music. (Sorry for a tautology, which is certainly not of an intentional origin in this case.) All six of the remaining songs: Vision Intempestive, Ecco, Ragnarok, Villiers, L'etroit Huit, and Pzkr (tracks 6, 7, 8, 9, 5, & 10 respectively), both of the latter of which are from an original LP, sound quite noticeable different than any of the first four tracks on the CD. Each of these songs features very innovative (I'd even say modern) symphonic textures that dominate over those of Zeuhl and Jazz-Fusion, which is not everything, though. The refusal of using even bits of free jazz on any of the new four songs, as well as quite a radical change of the way of singing, shows the band's disposition towards the transformation of style they've once chosen, which is always a very positive creative property. (Which, in its turn, causes me to regret that there is no Musique Noise on the map of contemporary Progressive.) I don't know why, but Ecco (7) features only Gallet's (i.e. male) vocals. But then each of the remaining three songs represents nothing else but a little, yet, real and just amazing opera. In fact, the vocals of any of the band's three singers are operatic, but they decided to use them this very special way only during the second and the last phase of the band's creation.
Summary. In my honest opinion, Musique Noise, who were probably the most brave among the followers of Magma, developed and, finally, changed the classic Zeuhl sound almost beyond recognition. Their "Fulmines Integralis" is one of the most inventive albums released within the framework of this style, to say the list. Highly recommended to all interested parties who authentically know who they are.
VM: January 30, 2003
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