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Fractal 017


All Music Guide (website : - April 2003 (Canada) :

The fractal label has tapped into the archives of the quasi-legendary 70’s French avant-garde label Futura and is reissuing some of its weirdest sound artifacts. Musiq Musik was recorded in 1971-1972, came out in 1973 and stands as the first album by Jacques Berrocal’s Musik Ensemble (even though it is here credited to Berrocal, Dominique Coster and Roger Ferlet. Berrocal’s musical vision was already fully formed, challenging, uncompromissing and nutty. A blend of free jazz, Gamelan, ethnic improv and performance art, the music still sounds as wild today as it did back then. The three musicians play trumpet, trombone, cornet and various Middle-and Far-Eastern horns and percussion. The list of instruments also includes balloons ropes and explosives ! The music is all screeches, clangs and ululations as the trio explores new musical grounds with a compelling sense of urgency. “Pièces à Lanam” and “Leïla Concerto” are written down and charming in an alien way, while “Anonymous” and “Cryptea” leave room for more improvisation and take more difficult forms. The album is short (only 30 minutes) but intense and affirms Berrocal’s standing as one of France’s leading maverick creators of the decade (and the next). Musiq Musik appeared on the legendary list of influences included with Nurse With Wound’s first album.
François Couture

Forced Exposure Website - March 2002 (USA)

« *THE LIST* alert (resultant bells and whistles contained herein). The debut album from Berrocal's "Musik Ensemble" recorded between 1971 and 1972, originally released as part of the can-do-no-wrong Futura label's SON series. Featuring these three on – balloons, bells, cornet, cymbals, double horn, explosives, flute Shenaï, Harmonium, Horn of Ramadan, Pakistani Horn, percussion(s), ropes, small bells, Tibetan Conch Shell, trombone, trumpet, various instruments, vocals, and whistles. One of the best multi-tiered progressions of group-mind thought-sound I've heard on record in... all time. I'll try to do it justice... "Pièces à Lanam": clockwork innards –> Gamelan procession –> abrupt adjunct into a highland funeral/kif-smoke pow-wow/Swiss Mountain call –> short Sunny Murray-ish burble –> "Leïla Concerto": raspy bird call w/bells & moan –> distant Sukaratan court ritual –> upturned chicken coop (fade) –> ancient God(s) evocated through solo flute –> contemporary city/street scene (EXPLOSIVES!) –> unison Ornette/Don head and out... "Anonymous": tape-treated call to battle –> alarm clocks announce new day –> short Copland theme –> gestural horn wimpers & vocal stabs –> slow building tremelo reed organ (?) –> Gamelan/clock theme re-statement –> wolves howl in the moon-light –> VERY short ping-pong match –> buoy sounds offshore, lonely sailor on dock w/ squeeze-box –> "Cryptea": single insect loose in the rafters –> two ships grind steel stern-wise at port's entry –> Stuart Dempster's mating call –> new year's eve celebration interrupted by sandstorm –> return of Copland theme –> middle-eastern ruminations –> doorbell rings announcing –> an army of the dead marching through Jean Tinguely's omniverse –> and out... A truly magical journey, optionable by anyone with an ear and a dream. No wonder that Steven Staple.... IT'S ON THE LIST! Amazing. »

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