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Pseu (France) - 1982/2004 - "Pseu"
TRACK LIST: 1. Biguine 2:49 2. Satno Danse 6:39 3. Simulacre-I 5:29 4. Simulacre-II 3:39 5. Vidance 10:50 6. Miroir 12:01 7. Demascarade 11:19 All tracks: by Pseu. LINE-UP: Philippe Dulong - guitars Christophe Codet - drums Eric Baron - bass Thierry Jardiner - keyboards Christian Coutzac - vocals With: Philippe Canellas - bass (6, 7) Pierre Delair - keyboards (6, 7) Produced by Pseu. ngineered by F Meunier.
Prolusion. PSEU is the French band from Bordeaux, which flourished from 1978 to 1983. Their only eponymous album was completed in 1982, but the recording has since been lost. The album was released just recently, mainly thanks to the effort of >the Payssan brothers, whose long search for the lost tapes thankfully has been crowned with success.
Synopsis. By introverts for introverts with a luxurious imagination and steady nerves - this could've been a good, and also proper, epigraph for "Pseu". This 53-minute album consists of seven tracks, two of which: Simulacre's parts I & II (3 & 4) are pure instrumentals, two: Vidance and Miroir (5 & 6) are songs with lyrics in French, and the other three: Biguine, Satno Danse, and Demaskarade are with wordless vocals. Overall, the entire album is sustained within a unified compositionally stylistic concept, and only Miroir features also something, which is unavailable on the other tracks - Waltz! When describing the music I will resort to traditional terms, but I must note beforehand that while the style and its constituents are determinable, any direct or relative comparisons are inapplicable to this unique ensemble and would be just wrong. Generally, being one of the brightest representatives of >Fifth Element, Pseu would have certainly become a prototype for many if they had an opportunity to release the album then, back in the '80s. Intensive and mesmerizing, twisted and rather dark, with multi-layered combining patterns, the music is an extraordinaire, yet, very integral combination of electric chamber Art-Rock, the Belgian-school RIO, and Zeuhl with plenty of innovative maneuvers that can't be found anywhere but here. The harsh, rapid-firing guitar and bass solos with direct and dissonant chords angry lead against neoclassical piano passages and tight drumming, giving no quarter to simplicity and, hence, boredom. At times, it's like reading Dostoevsky or seeing good staged plays or movies based on his novels, such as "Demons" or "The Idiot". Christian Coutzac is a talented chameleon singer, whose vocals and vocalizations are simultaneously theatrical and grotesque, sometimes quasi unearthly, but never ghostly, etc. There are no other parts of keyboards on the album apart from those of acoustic and electric piano by Thierry Jardiner on the first five tracks and Pierre Delair on the last two, respectively, and also vibraphone-like solos here and there. However, this music doesn't need a symphonic succulence, so loved by many, and its absence here adds even more originality to the overall sound. Unlike the preceding ones, the three long compositions at the end are notable for some light and neutral colors, too, and contain more large-scaled instrumental arrangements. However, I wouldn't pick winners in this album, as it's brilliant from the first note to the last.
Conclusion. I have to immediately place "Pseu" at the top of my favorite albums of >1982. If you give credence to this reviewer and feel that the review has been written especially for you, check this CD out right off the bat. Pronto! From your favorite vendor, of course...
VM: September 6, 2004
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