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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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memowakeman
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I have been very lucky to be in contact with musicians such as French mastermind Julian Julien, whose solo career began at the very beginning of this 21st century with the album Terre, and now, after 15 years he released the second part of this work, an eclectic album which shares a really interesting mixture of jazz, rock, classical, ambient and avant-garde music. Terre II will take you to a wonderful journey in which several musicians join forces, led by the equanimity of Julien, who used to play saxophone but in this album he playes percussion. This is not the ordinary progressive rock album at all, this is something quite different, exquisite, fresh and full of quality.

The album features 13 tracks and a total time of 45 minutes; most of them are short, from 1 to 4 minutes, and there is only one longer track which almost reaches 8 minutes. It opens with "Prelude", a nice 3-minute track that begins softly but later it turns darker, delicious, atmospheric and later even spacey. It is better if you listen to it with good headphones, by the way. "Terre II" has a nice mixture of classical music and delicious jazz, the use of strings, winds and percussion produce a wonderful balance that make the music easier to enjoy. They all complement each other and offer sublime passages that let our minds fly. "Iris I" is a short track, it is like an interlude, minimal, relaxing.

"Ailleurs" is a wonderful track. Saxophone, flute and percussion creating peaceful but vibrant moments, it is a blend of jazz, electronic and even the soft side of zeuhl. It is a dreamy track that one can enjoy with the eyes closed and imagine a lot of things. Their music share stories, and we as listeners modify them. "Iris II" just like the first one, is a short and atmospheric interlude, this time the sound is darker. "Iris III" is a bit longer and trippy, a wonderful saxophone appears over some electronic soundscapes, creating once again atmospheres that make us dream and have an inner-trip. This could be a track taken from Vangelis' Heaven and Hell.

"Une attente" is the only track that features vocals, this time a female one. There are no lyrics, but that voice creating nuances while percussion and strings produce some dark and desolated atmospheres. This is mainly a depressive track (at least to me), but beautiful and full of hope at the same time. "Iris IV" is a kind of noisy and dissonant piece at first, later when the sax is cleaner it makes me travel more to jazzy and experimental states of mind. "Doudou" reminds me of Gabriel's Passion, which also means its sound could perfectly fit in a film. After one minute and a half it changes a little bit, I imagine someone walking and having a life's retrospective, with inherent melancholy and even sadness, but with the hope of a brighter future.

"Iris V" has a soft electronic feel and spacey synths, it is a tasty song actually. It leads to "Non-sens" which is that longest track I mentioned earlier in this review. It starts slow, it could be even part of an Oren Ambarchi's drone track. There is a dark feeling on it in the first three minutes. And later it changes and a totally new sound is being built up. Later percussion and trumpet make some kind of jazz and new age, taking us to a passage through mid- east territories. The music is seductive, it naturally flows and I believe any listener would be able to listen to it, no matter their tastes, this is simply exquisite. "Iris VI" is the final part of these kind of interludes, and it is nice as well. And finally, Terre II ends with "Mr. John Barry" and as you can imagine judging by the title, this track is inspired and I assume is a tribute to that wonderful English composer of soundtracks. Actually, the mood and the sound of this track could be easily used as a film track, conducted by Barry and performed by Julien's band. Great way to finish the album!

Congratulations to Julian Julien and the band, you have created a wonderful album without a doubt!

memowakeman | 4/5 |

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