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(74:32, Gazul Records)
TRACK LIST / LINEUP: 1. The Skatalan Logicofobism 3:01 (My Favourite Sideburns Orchestra) 2. Dos Soleares Para Ti 3:51 (Pierre Bastien) 3. L'Equilibriste 2:32 (DIY-Note) 4. The Blank Invasion of Schizofonics Bikinis 2:58 (60 Etages) 5. Fur Den Der Nicht Gestorben Ist 3:10 (Faust) 6. Comme la Serenade 0:31 (Witold Bolik Project) 7. Un Train Direct Pour Charenton 2:23 (David Fenech) 8. I Wanna Be Your Dog 2:50 (Kawaii) 9. L'instigateur du Systeme 2:36 (General Alcazar) 10. El Peon Caminero 1:35 (Convolution) 11. Aether 4:23 (Jac Berrocal et Laurent Chabert) 12. Comme la Serenade-2 0:32 (Witold Bolik Project) 13. Je Suis un Homme 2:13 (Tycho Brahe) 14. Buzhug 4:19 (Chapi Chapo) 15. Churumbeles 2:49 (Cathy Claret) 16. Love Too Soon 3:39 (Orso Jesenka) 17. Stars 5:19 (Yoshihide Otomo, Eto Naoko, Sachiko M) 18. Comme la Serenade 3 0:32 (Witold Bolik Project) 19. Souvenir de Vernet-les-Bains 3:34 (Toupidek Limonade) 20. Metronit 2:52 (Lionel Fondeville) 21. Paganini 2:53 (Les Indes Noires) 22. Melodeca 3:26 (Yeepee) 23. Super Manon 12:34 (Richard Pinhas)
Prolusion. Compilations featuring various artists come in a number of shapes and guises, and in the case of "Assemblage de Pieces Comeladiennes du Plus Bel Effet" we're dealing with a variant of these known as tribute albums. A number of more or less well known artists get a shot at performing one or more tracks by an influential artist, and may get increased recognition as an indirect result of participating. Productions of this nature tend to be regarded with some level of scepticism by ardent fans of music in general and of the tributed artist in particular, but have proven to be a good source of income for record labels and a useful promotional tool for new artists. In this case we're not looking at a commercial driven venture though.
Analysis. The artist paid tribute on this occasion is one Pascal COMELADE, described as a French composer who specializes in a progressive-rock format with childish nuances such as toy instruments. Furthermore, the company responsible for the release is Musea Records (using their sublabel Gazul), whose role is to cater for what they label new music. Others might describe the stylistic expressions given the Gazul tag boundary or groundbreaking, experimental or cutting edge. And while the origins of the material found on this release aren't exactly clear cut; some sources describe this effort as covers of Comelade's most popular works, others as a blend of Pascelades and compositions created in his style or spirit – this is a venture that deserves the description challenging. Most of the 23 tracks here are of a nature that will make many listeners question the differences between music and noise, between bad and good, between interesting and annoying. There are stunning efforts here, like L'Equilibriste with it's beautiful but erratic mix of glockenspiel and Spanish guitar. Then there's Aether, where hammering toy synths – or at least something with that sound – is the foundation for ominous yet beautiful jazzy trumpets and some sublime percussion work adding careful spices to the proceedings. Other efforts contain details and themes more intriguing than brilliant as such. The use of squeaky toys as rhythm instruments, an a capella venture with vocal noises of a nature that can only be described as naive, fragmented chaotic noise-scapes that somehow combine into a whole where the mood and atmosphere make up for the distinct lack of anything melodic. Other excursions will most likely have a very limited audience. The stagnant organ and guitar number Stars being a good example, a composition spiced with electronic chirps on a frequency that almost literally made my earwax melt. Some efforts are of a less challenging nature, like the opening piece The Skatalan Logicofobism, a spoken monolog followed by a psychedelic, instrumental rockabilly effort very much in the same vein as The Cramps, and Love Too Soon, a composition Comelade penned with PJ Harvey. These tracks are in the minority.
Conclusion. If you enjoy music that makes you challenge your own perceptions of music and melodies, you enjoy trying to widen the scope of your musical understanding or just find musical works which are hard to comprehend then this CD should be very much of interest. Perhaps not a brilliant piece of work, but most certainly a production that will have a strong impact on anyone encountering it.
OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: February 25, 2010
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