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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Un Drame Musical Instantané - L'Homme À La Caméra/La Glace A Trois Faces [Klanggalerie - 2020]

Next in Klanggalerie series of reissues from French avant collective Un Drame Musical Instantané here is the band's fifth album 1984’s L'Homme À La Caméra. It finds the collective deepening & expanding both their dissonant modern classic & the more bizarre theatrical leanings, yet still keeping alive their general avant genre-mixing & matching. Also featured on this reissue is a second never released album La Glace A Trois Faces- all bringing this new releases runtime up to seventy-six minutes.

This CD is the third reissue of the band's work from the label, and before this, we had the band 1980’s debut Rideau! & it’s 1982 follow-up À Travail Égal Salaire Égal.  This recent reissue is presented a glossy red, grey & black color schemed mini gatefold- this takes in a list of albums impressive sonic line, full credits, and shape/ collage-based artwork. I’m not sure about the pressing of this, but I’d imagine it’s not huge- so if you enjoyed the other Un Drame Musical Instantané albums, act sooner than later!.

The bands centered around Jean-Jacques Birgé, Bernard Vitet, & Francis Gorgé- and for each of the albums, they are joined by twelve other musicians playing a mix of classical & non-classical wind instrumentation, violins/ cellos/ viola, and various percussive based instrumentation. The first album here is the group's 1984 album L'Homme À La Caméra- it takes in eleven pieces in all, with the key members taking on the following tasks- Birgé conductor, synth, tapes, flutes, piano, jew harp & vocals. Vitet- conductor, trumpet, flute & Vocals. And Gorgé- Conductor, guitar, and variable.  Though the album is broken up into eleven tracks- it feels much more of a flowing & developing single-track album- as the fifteen strong project dart all over the place. It would foolish/ madness to try & chart/ review everything here, as it really does shift all over the place- but here’s a little idea of what we get.  We begin with “Ouverture À L'Iris” this opens in the very dissonant and clashing manner with manic sawing string, dramatic crashing-at-times-stumbling percussion, and baying horn work- fairly soon this works it’s self up into a noise crescendo. Next we drop into a pared-back & moody blend of wavering flute harmonics, scuttling percussion, and awkward string twangs & plays which are fairly soon joined by a selection guttural mouth sounds. Before drifting into a blend wailing female harmonizing,brooding horn wonders meet grim string swoon, & what sounds like seagulls, before shifting in its last-minute into thick darts of off-key jazz organ. By the album, midpoint we come to “Consinus” and here we find a collision of what sounds like bright orchestratal comedy music, spiraling bright electronics, weird theatrical chatter & male/ female call receive, and wondering horn. The albums final track
"Le Spectacle Est Dans La Salle" attempts to bring together playful jazz flute, brooding male choirs, weird snoring & creaks, and sudden darts of disconnected orchestrate & angular rock stylings. L'Homme À La Caméra is a bizarre, wholly unpredictable, and largely enjoyable music journey

The second half of the CD is taken up by the eight tracks of unreleased album La Glace A Trois Faces- and once again this is orchestrate based, but jumps all over the place genre-wise- though maybe not as much as the first release. We go from the trad Jazz meets playful Avant jazz of  “Bohème”, onto the clear strumming guitar meets wondering horn & awkward sing-song vocals “L'Invitation Au Voyage”, through to simmering dissonant blend of multi piping/ sawing orchestrate, banging keys, and brooding wind sounds of the final track "Perfect Crimes".

In all this is a great double-headed sonic adventure of a release that is prime perfect for those who enjoy there Avant-grade genre mixed, unpredictable & daring. I very much look forward to the next Un Drame Musical Instantané reissue from Klanggalerie.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Roger Batty
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