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Christian Boulé - Photo Musik CD (album) cover

PHOTO MUSIK

Christian Boulé

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.46 | 11 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Christian Boule has played live or in the studio with such acts as Steve Hillage, GONG, CLEARLIGHT, LARD FREE and many others. His style of guitar playing is very much in the Steve Hillage mode although on this his first studio album he also plays harmonica, synths, flute and glissando guitar. Cyrille Verdeaux from CLEARLIGHT plays organ, electric piano, moog and more on here. We get a variety of saxophones as well plus a female singer who seems to get mixed opinions about her voice. She's not on the two bonus tracks though which feature Tim Blake from GONG as well as male and female vocals and Cyrille on keyboards. I do like the album cover.

"Elastic Minute" opens with intricate fast paced sounds before it kicks into gear around 1 1/2 minutes. Spacey synths help out as well as the sax plays over top. The guitar arrives around 2 minutes sounding really good. This is a Hillage-like track and it's all instrumental. "Photo Musik" starts out with strummed guitar as another solos over top. It turns fuller rather quickly and vocals join in. Some excellent fuzzed out guitar here as well that comes and goes. Again the guitar reminds me of Hillage. Harmonica ends it as the song stops abruptly. "Crystal Palace" is a top three tune for me. It's spacey at first with twittering sounds. It's building but then it settles back after a minute with strummed guitar, a beat and vocals. She reminds me of Sabine from GILA on that "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee" album. She stops singing as the guitar comes to the fore after 2 1/2 minutes. Nice! Man this is so good. Check out the guitar before 4 minutes and the drum work that follows. The vocals are back before 4 1/2 minutes as it settles back some. "22 Broad Street" is my least favourite, a little too mainstream I'd say sounding like a New Wave song. Lots of energy and some ripping guitar as well.

"Radio-Arc-En-Ciel" opens with radio samples as the organ floats and these spoken female words join in just before a minute and they will last for about a minute as the floating organ and synths end it. "Seme Ocean" features vocal melodies as strummed guitar and more joins in. It's building as piano comes to the fore. So much going on here, very impressive. "Aqua Deva" is a top three as we get lots of atmosphere and water sounds as spacey synths join in as well. It blends into my final top three tune "Inter Galactic Cosmic Triolet" where it continues to be spacey but a minute in it turns fuller with vocals. The vocals echo and remind me of the female singer on BRAINTICKET's debut just not as out there. Cool song. "Orange Climax" opens with church bells and atmosphere and the tempo picks up after a minute and gets fuller too. Catchy stuff 3 minutes in then piano comes to the fore after 4 minutes. It's the sax now leading around 5 minutes in then it settles down before 6 1/2 minutes and it continues to wind down to the end. The two bonus tracks are pretty good as well, especially "Estella Futur".

It's hard to imagine anyone who's into Steve Hillage not liking this but then again some don't like the vocals. I'm quite pleased to recommend this one though as I get a lot of enjoyment out of it.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |

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