Carpe Diem-En Regardant Passer Le Temps
(1975good space prog)
This album has really grown on me big time. This has got to be one of the greatest prog albums I have bought in a long time. This group, as far as French prog bands are concerned gets mentioned up there with the likes of Pulsar, Atoll, Magma, Ange, etc. and without good reason. The band consisted of keyboardist/vocalist Christian Truchi, guitarist Gilbert Abbenanti, bassist Alain Berge, drummer Alain Faraut, and saxist/flutist Claude-Marius David (who unfortunately died in 1993, according to the booklet included in the Musea CD reissue, but unfortunately no mention of cause of death). En Regardant Passer Le Temps is the first of only two albums and is generally regarded as the better of the two. This is one of the very few prog rock albums I've found where I can't find any flaws. Many times I have problems with bad production, bad vocals (or a band singing in poor English if they're from a non-English speaking country), an album getting hampered by a sappy ballad or two, awful synth sound, poor lyrics, or whatever, but none of that's to be found here. Christian Truchi decides to sing in his native French, and he has one of the more pleasant voices in French prog (a refreshing change, when you're accustomed to harsh French vocals, like that of Ange). The band has one of the more unique keyboard sounds I've heard, rather than the usual Hammond organ, Mini Moog, and Mellotron, Truchi used a Farfisa electric piano, an unidentifiable synth, and a string synth. So many times you see this band compared with Gong, or Camel, or Soft Machine. Don't buy in to that at all, this has got to be one of the more original mid '70s prog albums. For one thing, the music is way more sophisticated than what Gong did. There are plenty of jazzy passages because of the presence of sax, but plenty of spacy symphonic passages. The band is often placed under the "space fusion" category with the likes of Gong and even Ozric Tentacles, which is a bit strange, given Carpe Diem was quite a bit more sophisticated. Expect more of a symphonic space prog album. The album consists of only four cuts, but all are of the same quality, so it's really difficult picking out the best cut. Plus you can't beat the cover, which is very much in the style of M.C. Escher (done by Hubert Pattieu). Truly an essential album, as far as I'm concerned.