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Motis - Le Prince des Hauteurs CD (album) cover

LE PRINCE DES HAUTEURS

Motis

 

Prog Folk

3.65 | 10 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

kenethlevine
Special Collaborator
Prog-Folk Team
4 stars French prog in a large measure, and French popular music in general, can tend to the theatrical if not histrionic, which may be a bounty or bane depending on one's disposition and/or mood of the moment. But the French are also the masters of a debonair cool, and artists from this school exude a coy and sophisticated charm. The product may not be danceable in musculoskeletal terms, but can evoke a candlelit festival in one's mind's eye with the sort of gentle swaying of serotonin soaked neurons that could put Eli Lilly out of business. Passing unnoticed for days, weeks, months or years, they suddenly "click" and one is irrevocably smitten. MOTIS is such a formation.

While the style here is the Breton variant of Celtic rock, the progressive adjective can be applied as readily as folk, jazz, and even swing. It is lurking wherever the accompanying instrumentation is permitted a brief rise to the fore, in the ethereal keyboard touches, the flute interludes, the time shifts within and between, the deft connection of pieces, and the crystalline perfectionism of the production.

The opener, "Roman le Renard", is a case in point, encapsulating 2 songs in one that are clearly meant to be joined at the hip. "Chanson a Boire" begins ominously before becoming a jazz tinged ode to drinking. The reggae fix of "Le Rire et L'Epee" is fitted with mandolin and mellotron as it morphs from a more traditional islands groove to a breathless Paris night club rant without batting an eye. L'Eveil des Gargoules" is a macabre symphonic piece with celtic and acoustic underpinnings until the frenetic lead guitar muscles in.

These highlights notwithstanding, essentially every track offers a refreshing aural treat, an embarrassment of riches if you acknowledge the wondrous diversity of the progressive diaspora. A genre of such breadth cannot be limited to one peak, and this debut by Motis attains a princely height of its own.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |

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