Saturday, January 27, 2007

Mosaïc - Ultimatum[1978]{France}(Zeuhl)

Listening exclusively to Mozart and Haydn, wonderful though they are, won't give you much of a handle on what Charles Rosen is on about in The Classical Style; there's more to Romantic opera than Verdi and Wagner, and bebop didn't conveniently die out when Charlie Parker did. Take progressive rock, for instance (and that must be one of the most spectacularly stupid monikers ever dreamt up) – if you find yourself having to teach a class in the subject one day and need just one album to illustrate the instrumental aspect of the genre, you could do no better than Ultimatum, recorded in a studio just south of Paris in 1978 by the group Mosaic (the brothers Brebion – Hubert and Yves – on drums and keyboards respectively, with Jean-Yves Escoffier on guitar and synths and Philippe Lemongne on bass and synths). All the prog trademark elements are there: the earnest and never-resolving augmented triads and self-consciously clever polyrhythmic riffing of the so-called Canterbury school (not to mention The Mothers of Invention), in yer face guitar embroidery à la Holdsworth / Beck, skittery showcase drumming (Wyatt, Bruford, Vander..), not too many vocals to speak of (does "Le torero d'alu I,II,III, IV" actually count as a song? As far as the bawling on "Mercenaire" goes, the less said the better..) but what there are come straight outta Henry Cow. There are also the obligatory doses of silliness (the garbled phone messages of "Rue Tabaga") and weirdness (the queasy strings of "Souvenirs, souvenirs"), and to top it all off – Meidad Zaharia has that obsessive record collector's passion for ultra-rare and preferably unreleased material – lots of bonuses: three tracks recorded as a demo in 1977, with a certain Valentin Bontchev on violin (very good he is too), one live take and a home studio job called "Spoutnik" from 1976. Unless you're a real prog nut, it's highly unlikely you'll have heard Ultimatum – it was released in an edition of 500 and only 200 copies of the three-track demo Cuvée 77 were made, on cassette only – but Bontchev's solo on "Bonjour Docteur" (forget Ponty and Lockwood!) is one of several reasons why you should.(

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EelaFree said...


Laruchis said...

Thx for another great choice!
I'm enjoying & learning a lot from your posts!
I do appreciate!.

Thalamus said...

Thanks for your work spreading this good music. I am really relieved, you are going on. I enjoy a lot your blog, which is unic in that it covers music from all around the world, not just English and American material. Personally, I am particularly grateful for the Hungarian and Polish postings. I hope, we and many others will have a lot of good time to spend together in the coming future.

Thanks again for everything!

Sincerely yours,


Anonymous said...

Thanks a Lot for your love for music and for this great post

Baci dall'Italia

Paola & Marco

PS this is the version without bonus or we have lost something?

Anonymous said...

Fantastic post, my friend. Thanks a lot!

Anonymous said...

awesome stuff, muchas gracias!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much,sharing such great music for us,
Very appreciated!

Todd Taiwan

Horvat said...


is it possible to post bonuses of this disc? It might be very interesting!

Thanks in advance!

Anonymous said...

Mmmm, zeuhl! Fantastic album!
Thank you, sir!

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