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RIO/Avant-Prog • Japan

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Salle Gaveau picture
Salle Gaveau biography
Salle Gaveau spawned from the Japanese Avant-prog band Bondage Fruit, birthed by guitarist Natsuki Kido. Their archetype Tango sound was highly influenced form masters Astor Piazzolla, with all performers versed in Argentinean Tango. The band made their first appearance as a group in 2003, consisting of Natsuki Kido (guitar), Naoki Kita (violin), Yoshiaki Sato (accordéon) and Keisuke Torigoe (contrabass). In October 2005, Masaki Hayashi (piano) joined the band, rendering the line-up complete.

Salle Gaveau have only released one album Alloy (2007), which can be described as Chamber Tango, facilitated with the likes of: Classical, jazz, rock, progressive rock. Through passages of electric musical dexterity these five top class performers craft energetic Chamber prog of the highest calibre. The band has a left field sound when paralleled to traditional Japanese Avant-prog; a subtle French class taints their sound, thanks to the accordéon. Between the fast pace flourishes they coax their audience with more digestible delicacies, procuring a perfectly balanced album.

Unfazed by playing next to the likes of Magma and Present, the band gained international success, with their astounding performance at the 2007 Rock In Opposition festival. Salle Gaveau should reach out to vast audience among progressive rock not just confining themselves to the absurd and weird. Highly Recommended.

==Black Velvet (Adam)==

Alloy, 2007

Salle Gaveau official website

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SALLE GAVEAU discography

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SALLE GAVEAU top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.53 | 13 ratings
4.09 | 3 ratings
Strange Device
4.50 | 2 ratings
La Cumparsita

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Strange Device by SALLE GAVEAU album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.09 | 3 ratings

Strange Device
Salle Gaveau RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Tapfret
Special Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

4 stars The follow-up to Alloy, Salle Gaveau's collection of Astor Piazzolla inspired original tangos, Strange Device somehow manages to not come across as a rehash of its predecessor's work. It would be easy to see how a certain amount of redundancy could be expected from a very defined rhythmic device as the tango. But these tangRIO masters have managed to produce an album that has a clear differentiation from their debut. A "Strange Device" indeed.

The first obvious difference between Alloy and Strange Device is Kido Natsuki's much heavier, almost exclusive reliance on electric guitars. Both in soloing/melodic patterns and rhythm structures. The recording quality also appears to be more expansive. It is hard to tell whether which aspect was driving the other or whether they were mutually exclusive components. But it makes for a more dynamic production. Having that increased depth to recording quality also allows the accordion to become a much more solid soloing mechanism. Additionally, the piano appears on Strange Device to be a wrapping that encapsulates the compositions in a warm embrace; again, facilitated by the broader expanse of the recording. The reliance on chromaticism is far and away decreased, giving the formula a more jazzy presentation. One might consider this a "safer" approach, but it does not distract from the underlying compositional complexity. It does, however, make this album fit the description of a far more accessible production.

Another fantastically enjoyable Salle Gaveau. I hate such arbitrary qualifiers as "classy". But what the hell? This is a classy album. Its one of those "sneak prog in on your family" albums that you can put on at dinner time and mom will be impressed with you. And if you actually learn to tango...oh my! 4 stars

 Alloy  by SALLE GAVEAU album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.53 | 13 ratings

Salle Gaveau RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Tapfret
Special Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

4 stars Dance in Opposition

One of my favorite humans on planet Earth is Japanese guitarist Natsuki Kido. Best known for his work in the Japan Zeuhl/RIO scene with Bondage Fruit and Korekyojin, he is also a very active jazz performer, as well as half of the folksy acoustic duo Era with violinist Akihisa Tsuboy of Pochataike Malko. Kido's seemingly boundless eclecticism also pulls him in the direction of Argentine Tango. A love that has not only fostered live performances of the works of Astor Piazzolla, but also the fantastic project of Piazzolla-influenced originals, Salle Gaveau. Their debut album, Alloy, is a perfect example of a progressive music crossover project and answers the age old question: Can you dance to prog? The answer, as always, only if you are a good enough dancer. Can you tango?

Alloy features a 5 piece chamber style ensemble consisting of guitar, violin, contrabass, accordion, and piano. Kido is primarily using acoustic guitar, but occasional blasts in with a distorted electric lead, and throws in a beautifully textured Steve Howe-esque undistorted electric guitar arpeggio on the song Tempered Elan. The music is absurdly frantic tango with occasional breaks of mild interlude. Often the tango parts incorporate a large portion of RIO flavored dissonance, but do not stray from the tango feel and are typically well resolved. While no strictly percussion instruments are used, the players are quite adept at highly percussive utilization of their tools. Particularly on the parts that use a large amount of dissonance. There is an undeniable sultry passion to the compositions. One cannot help but move when taking an active listen to Alloy. And I suspect most will have a hearty laugh when they realize how enjoyable the accordion is on this project. I can't think of a time I've enjoyed it more.

It can be well imagined that Tango, in any manifestation, is an acquired taste. For that it would be hard to consider Alloy to be "essential". But it contains extraordinary musicianship and is some of the most accessible RIO out there. For any progger seeking to eclecticize his/her collection, Alloy is a highly recommended vehicle to facilitate that end. 4 stars.

 Alloy  by SALLE GAVEAU album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.53 | 13 ratings

Salle Gaveau RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars 3.5 stars really!!

Debut album for this Japanase avant-prog with ethnic flavors that made itself known by opening the first RIO Festival in Carmeaux. Apparently they went down as the main "good surprise" by most of the public that was at the time looking ahead at future major groups ahead in the program. This Japanese acoustic quintet (including a violinist and an accordionist) develops the now usual Eastern European folk/ethnic music that ranges close to the gypsy-type of jazz.

Nothing very original I'm afraid as this is now done just way too often-ly reprised, that it is by now sounding very unoriginal. From Debile Menthol to Alamaailman Vasarat, from Rouge Ciel to Cro Magnon, this type of music has been explored dozens (hundreds?) of time before and SG is unable to add anything new, even with their Japanese sensibilities. And if they do add a bit of dissonance, it is no more than Sotos (and they added a Zeuhl touch, which is completely absent in SG), if they have an accordion (which I generally hate, but here it is extremely well played as it almost doesn't interfere), so does Hamster Theatre. And even if they do have a certain approach that renders their music distinguishable for an experienced listener, it is not really enough to want to indulge once more

Don't get me wrong, if you haven't yet had your fill with this type of Eastern European Gypsy thing, SG will delight you with their flawless execution, and their charming phrasing and all-around tightness. But this proghead has enough record of that type to last him a second lifetime.

Thanks to avestin for the artist addition.

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