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Julian Julien - Terre II CD (album) cover

TERRE II

Julian Julien

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.99 | 12 ratings

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zravkapt
Special Collaborator
Post/Math Rock Team
4 stars A follow up to the 2000 album Terre, this is the latest album from French composer/musician Julian Julien. Some may know him for his work in the project Fractale. Julian studied classical music and has been playing the saxophone since he was nine. This album is meant to be experienced along with photography provided for the album. This isn't bubblegum pop - this is real art. Here Julian himself does not play sax but leaves that duty to Michael Havard, playing percussion and electronics himself (as well as composing the music itself). Almost completely instrumental (with the exception of one track with vocalist Helene Argo), the music itself can be described as a mix of jazz, classical, electronic, ambient, chamber rock and avant-garde. Looking at reviews of this release, one will see references to: artists on the ECM label, Tangerine Dream, Art Zoyd, Weather Report, Brian Eno, Tortoise, Keith Jarrett and John Barry. The first half of Terre II is more jazz and classical oriented while the second half is more electronic and avant-garde. The instrumentation is varied and features a lot of wind and string instruments.

"Prelude" is a nice opener. A mix of jazz, classical and ambient. The title track is more trad jazz that has a 'rock' feel although there is no electric instruments. "Ailleurs" is an interesting mix of jazz and ambient electronic. The way it develops it almost turns into acoustic Berlin School. There are six tracks spread throughout the album with the name "Iris" and all are short and electronic-oriented. Part V stands out to me because I am reminded of IDM groups like Autechre and Boards Of Canada. "Une attente" has the aforementioned female vocals. A capella at first but later joined by percussion, bass and piano. Other instruments join in and vocals are multi-tracked to create harmony. "Doudou" has a MidEast feel to it. Halfway a repeated electronic melody which could have come from a Tangerine Dream or Mike Oldfield album dominates. "Non-sens" is the longest track and one of the highlights. Starts out sounding like Tangerine Dream or Klaus Schulze. After 3 minutes trumpet comes along and the rest of the music is more rhythmic.

"Mr. John Barry" is the album closer and yet another highlight. Named after and influenced by the late film composer of the same name. This sounds similar to some of the stuff Julian was doing with Fractale. Great melodies over a solid rhythmic foundation. Great sax solo as well. Overall a really good release. Terre II has a nice flow to it and is sequenced in a way beneficial to the music itself. A mix of shorter and longer tracks which go by flawlessly. A great production as the music sounds great. If you are a fan of any of the artists I mentioned at the beginning of this review, then there is a possibility you may enjoy this release. However, the music here is not derivative and can't really be compared to the work of others (in full, only in parts). Terre II is a digital release that can be purchased from Julian's site at www.julianjulien.com. I will give this release 4 stars.

zravkapt | 4/5 |

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