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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Miriodor

Jungleries Elastiques

Review by Gary Hill

Fans of King Crimson should really find this album to be their cup of tea. Indeed, much of the disc feels like a take on the music of that band. However, Crimson is certainly not the only mode to be found on display. The music also is not restricted to one, or even to of the considerably diverse periods of that band's history. Indeed, although much of the sound here has a lot in common with early period King Crimson, they also touch upon sounds similar to the Red era of that group. Even more interestingly, the group seems to anticipate on one track the modern sound of that band which really did not exist at the time this material was written. Among the other sounds to be found here are ethnic textures and jazz-fusion. All of these varying elements are merged to create a unique texture giving a highly entertaining and well performed nearly all instrumental album that should definitely entrain fans of progressive rock. Miriodor (Pascal Globensky, Remi Leclerc, Bernard Falaise and Sabin Hudon) are joined on this release by several side musicians.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2002 Year Book Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Le Lancuer De Couteaux (The Knife Thrower)
Coming in in a weirdly compelling bouncing melody, this track is quite intriguing. It gets its biggest King Crimsonish textures from the exceptionally Frippish guitar work. There is also a texture here that feels like a carnival musician on heavy drugs. 
Bal Con (Bloody Party)
Punctuated by dramatic sonic bursts, piano serves as a bridge between those points in the intro. The cut shifts gear to quite a dramatic, but brief building segment. On it's next change the Crimsonish elements really begin to dominate. It wanders quite a bit in its meandering jam and becomes quite powerful at times. Amongst its various moods is a playful segment. This is a killer track that is at times very powerful while at other just plain fun.
Grenaille (Crumb)
This is an extremely brief (9 seconds) dissonant piano bit.
Pouppes Russes (Babouchka)
More King Crimson oriented jamming, this one feels closer in texture to the Red era of that band than to the older sound hinted at by some of the earlier material on show here. However, in composition, it still feels more along the lines of that earlier KC sound.
Funambule (Tightrope Walker)
Coming in in an almost old world type jam, this one switches gear becoming an ever-so-slightly off-kilter fusionish jam that really smokes. This is more melodic than much of the other material that came before it but still features plenty of musical surprises and chaos.
En Bazou Dans L'bayou (Three Clowns)
With a fairly straightforward and potent jazz texture, this one is another that really cooks. It features some awesome jamming.
Feve De Lima (Lima Bean)
This short cut has quite a playful texture while being just weird enough.
Le Dresseur De Chenilles (The Caterpillar Tamer)
This one starts in the playful, off-kilter mode, but quickly becomes very powerful and involved. It wanders through a lot of musical twists. It is another of the tracks that shows King Crimson oriented stylings. It does a fine job of entertaining in that vein, too, being one of the standout jams on the album. It gets quite mysterious and laid back at times.
34+9 (43)
With an almost Mancini-ish feel at times, this one includes a killer bass groove. It gets a bit weird, but is definitely a very cool number. It also includes some vocals, a rarity for the group.
Igor L'ours A Moto (Igor The Motorbike Bear)
This starts in a neo-classical manner, but quickly changes gear to feel more like '70's era Crimson doing a theme song from an action TV series from the same era. It drops to a more sedate section after a time, then turns to a killer hard rocking, almost metallic jam. It just keeps reinventing itself and never fails to entertain. At the end an abrupt shift takes the composition into a light-hearted old-world ethnic sort of melody that serves as the outro. This is definitely one of the strongest cuts on the album.
Le Terrible Naufrage Du Petit Navire (The Little Ship's Terrible Wreck)
Beginning as a sedate balladic piece with a definite old-world flavor. As it carries on it jumps to a segment that calls to mind Red era Crimson.
Maree Noir (Black Tide)
With a title like that this one is suitably dark and hard-edged. It is a great jam that gets a bit dissonant at times and dissolves to chaos to end.
Thomas L'Imposter (Thomas The Imposter)
At 37 seconds in length, this one is a very short slightly bluesy guitar based interlude.
Etes-Vous Coustaud? (Strong Men Ring A Bell!)
The texture of this one feels like what would have been produced should We Are Not Men era Devo had done progressive rock. It is a bit strange, but definitely entertaining. Ambient sounds connect this one to the next track.
Telephage (Wire Eater)
Coming out of the ambiance left from the last cut, a martial rhythm ensues, then of the best riffs of the entire album comes in. For a time this really feels a lot like something the latest incarnation of Crimson would do. It takes a turn into chaos late to carry the number to its conclusion. This is definitely one of the strongest pieces on the album.
Mata Hari
A jazzy sort of meandering makes up this cut. It gets a bit dissonant at times.
Mme X (Mrs. X)
Atmospheric tones start this, but a hard-edged prog jam that is exceptionally tasty quickly ensues. The piece shifts gear again to a more pretty and intricate progression, then turns to the dramatic for a moment or two before a fusion-oriented jam erupts. It gets a bit neo-classical in its overtones at times. At other times it feels just little like King Crimson's Red era. After a while it shifts again to another wonderful fusion styled jam, then oriental sounds enter for a short time. This is another standout cut.
Argentine Contre Bresil (Argentina Vs. Brazil)
At only 45 seconds it must not be much of a contest, but this is kind of a playful little jam. One really wonders, though, if the previous piece might not have made for a more satisfying conclusion to the album.
 
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