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Tiemko (France) - 2004 - "Ca Tourne"
TRACK LIST: 1. Hi 1:08 2. Ca Tourne 6:02 3. Variation 9:46 4. Gnome Fantasie 13:05 5. HTV 2:12 All tracks: by Tiemko, except 5: Toussaint. LINE-UP: Jean-Jacques Toussaint - keyboards, bass pedals Remy Chauvidan - guitars & bass Eric Delaunay - drums & percussion Produced by Tiemko. Engineered by Chauvidan.
Prolusion. I perceive "Ca Tourne" as a long-awaited new outing by Tiemko, especially since it was originally intended as their fifth album. It was at the height of its recording process when drummer Eric Delaunay had died in car accident. As a result, the band has ended its existence, and the five tracks that they had time to record then, in the fall of 1996, were unavailable to the general listening audience until now. Tiemko's previous albums are: "Espace Fini" (1988), "Ocean" (1990), "Parade" (1992), and "Clone" (1995), and I haven't heard only the first of them.
Synopsis. Unlike its predecessor and, accordingly, like the other albums by the band, "Ca Tourne" consists exclusively of instrumental compositions. The short opening track, Hi, is the only thing here, which won't demand great mental efforts from you to comprehend. There is a diverse and intensive drumming throughout, apart from which I've heard literally a couple of brief interplay between slow passages of piano and fluid solos of guitar. All the remaining contents of "Ca Tourne" display that the band refused working with moderately accessible forms that they've turned to on "Clone". The album's title track (2) is structurally the most polymorphous composition Tiemko has ever created and is probably their most innovative work ever with a clearly futuristic sense throughout. This is the case when the music, while being a conglomerate of the four principal Progressive Rock genres: still the same RIO, Jazz-Fusion, Art-Rock, and Prog-Metal, doesn't suit any of them, regardless of the prevalence of angular 'opposition' melodies, but due to the fact that there is also something indefinite, i.e. new ad infinitum. So it's the Fifth Element, elementarily:-). It may seem to be unbelievable, but the rather short HTV (5) possesses probably everything essential, which can be found on Ca Tourne, to be defined the same way. On the longer tracks, Variation and Gnome Fantasie (3 & 4), Cathedral Metal is out, while Space Fusion and Electronic Avant-garde, often bordering still an RIO, are in. The former is notable for bass soloing throughout along with the other instruments involved: electric guitar, synthesizer, piano, organ, glockenspiel, xylophone and drums. The latter is the only composition featuring a classical guitar whose passages and solos play often the most important role in the arrangements. The music is more atmospheric than on the other tracks and has a wonderful mysterious feel to it. Like everywhere on the album, the arrangements are eclectic, eccentric, ever changing and, hence, are completely unpredictable. With plenty of overdubs of the parts of various keyboards and metal percussion instruments, the sound is so saturated that I would have hardly believed that the band is a trio if I didn't know that.
Conclusion. With RIO tendencies being more pronounced than those of Jazz-Fusion, at least overall, "Ca Tourne" is musically closer to "Parade" and, in some ways, "Clone" than to "Ocean", though on the other hand, it sounds as different as any of them. In all, this is a high-quality progressive material, which can be recommended without any reservations. Oh, almost forgot! This CD has a multimedia section, so it's a really must to anyone to whom the name of this remarkable French outfit is not just an empty phrase. Even if so, it's time to change the situation.
VM: August 10, 2004
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