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Aksak Maboul - Onze Danses Pour Combattre La Migraine CD (album) cover


Aksak Maboul



3.80 | 68 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars AKSAK MABOUL was formed in 1977 Belgium by Marc Hollander (keyboards, reeds, percussion) and Vincent Kenis (guitar, bass, keyboards, percussion). ONZE DANSES POUR COMBATTRE LA MIGRAINE (Eleven Dances For Fighting Migraines) is the debut album and delivers a seriously healthy dose of RIO / Avant Prog and sounds a bit like Zappa collaborating with the Art Bears and Univers Zero. This album also takes a few cues from the 19th Century French avant-garde pianist Erik Satie who was known for his minimalism as well as his screen plays of absurdist fiction called "Theatre Of The Absurd." Originally the first two AKSAK MABOUL albums were released on the independent Belgian label Kamikaze Records, but in 1980 Hollander created his own Crammed Discs label where the albums have since been reissued and remastered. The sound quality and production is outstanding for the time.

ONZE DANSE... is a collection of nicely played avant-prog with, in addition to Hollander and Kenis, has seven other musicians contributing everything from sax, violin and more guitar to lots of vocal contributions. The music is nowhere as out there and alienating as lots of RIO can be. There is enough melody to reel in the casual listener and enough avant-prog to engage the serious addict of the bizarre. This album has been described as a playful mix of musical forms, cultures and genres and i would have to agree with that. While the "typical" RIO / avant-prog sound of the chamber rock sort of such bands as Henry Cow, Univers Zero and The Art Bears can clearly be heard throughout the disc's run, there are also African drum bits, Zappa-esque spastic outbreaks and plenty of attention to electronic effects and classical music. There are also lots of jazz elements sewn into the tapestry. The sound here is quite distinct from any contemporaries.

I find this to be a really intriguing and captivating debut that is the perfect place to dive into the world of AKSAK MABOUL because the band really takes off into the world of the avant-garde with their second release "Un Peu de l'me des Bandits" with the addition of Henry Cow veterans Fred Frith and Chris Cutler making it a more dynamic and bizarre experience. ONZE DANSES... contains on the other hand a nice mix of the accessible and bizarre and would sit nicely next to the albums by News From Babel in that regard. Highly recommended for anyone who finds RIO and avant-prog a bit too weird but also for those who don't mind their RIO on the medium spicy side. I personally like it all and find AKSAK MABOUL to be one of the more interesting bands of this movement at this time in the small country that has produced more than its share of strange music.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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