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Space Art - Space Art  CD (album) cover


Space Art


Progressive Electronic

3.47 | 17 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars The '70s Space Art team of Dominique Perrier and Roger Rizzitelli should have attracted a much larger audience, but their albums never enjoyed the same degree of promotion and distribution mobilized by kindred synth-rock rival Jean Michel Jarre (who effectively neutralized a potential competitor by hiring the duo as his backing band in the early 1980s). The two acts shared strong common ties of geography and style, but Space Art would always be non-starters in any sales contest, despite an equal flair for melodic hooks, and the stronger muscle provided by a live drummer.

Their self-titled 1977 debut LP was located squarely on the Jarre/Vangelis axis, light years closer to home than the drifting interstellar explorations of other electro-prog pioneers (Schulze, Froese, Pinhas et al). The opening 'Onyx', which gave its name to an earlier CD re-release of the album, is still the perfect introduction to the Space Art sound, boosting the group into orbit on the afterburners of an incredibly catchy riff, and presented with enough wide-screen grandeur to make Cecil B. DeMille sit up and take notice. There's a motif of sorts in the contagious opening melody, recurring at the start of Side Two ('Aquarella', on the original vinyl), and in the more ominous, escalating atmospherics of the album closer 'Laser en Novembre': in musical terms the sound of our local star going supernova and obliterating the inner solar system.

But the album more often borrows its cues from the quasi-classical synthesized arrangements of Walter/Wendy Carlos, almost verbatim in the long 'Ode a Clavius', named after the lunar crater where Stanley Kubrick's enigmatic monolith was uncovered. Imagine the faux-baroque soundtrack to 'A Clockwork Orange', updated with state-of-the-art equipment (circa 1977) and fortified by heavy drumming. After more than thirty-five years it sounds better than I remembered (in a retro sort of way), enough to certainly warrant a second look, and better late than never.

Neu!mann | 4/5 |


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