19 March 2009

Space Art

I've featured Space Art here before as part of my Psyche-Out! series of posts. They were a French duo formed in 1977 and their music is very French sounding. On keyboards was Dominique Perrier and on drums was Roger Rizzitelli. I was lucky to find all 3 of their albums on my travels in North America last summer. I wasn't previously aware of the group but picked them out due to the cover art, the band name and track titles; I wasn't disappointed. This post is to celebrate the fact that I've finally got around to transferring all three LP's to mp3! Apparently these were not released outside of France but obtaining a copy of the first two LP's online certainly won't be difficult, nor will it break the bank (they were also released more recently on cd). A copy of the vinyl only Play Back on the other hand turns out to be rather rare and expensive. Possibly my favourite of the three though.

Their self titled debut album was released in 1977 by I-F Records, with distribution by Carrere. Certain melody lines and phrases are re-used throughout the album, giving it some continuity. Onyx opens the album with beautiful, ethereal synth melodies and smooth live drumming. There were a lot of experiments with the synthesizer and electronic music during the late 70s but the drums here really stand Space Art apart from the rest of the crowd. I find this album to be a little darker and more intense than the others. Axius is a good example of this with its growling bassline and nagging, alarm like one-note synth lines. Ode A Clavius is another highlight. It starts out light and dreamy, almost classical, before dropping into a funky syncopated hook. There are also a bunch of alien noises which sound like they were lifted straight out of some weird 70s cartoon or videogame.

Space Art - Onyx

Space Art - Ode A Clavius

Not sure if this is from 1977 or 1979, no dates on the LP itself, but Trip In The Center Head (or Head Center as some pressing state) continues where the previous album left off, opening with two short upbeat melodic pieces: Speedway and Odyssey. Things turn darker with the slow burner Eyes Shade. Opening with a rush of white noise, followed by a lonely synth with some muffled telephone chatter in the background. The track closes with a slow beat and some electric guitar noodling. L'obsession d'Archibald is one of my favourite Space Art tracks. It opens with a pulsing synth note which is joined with an arpeggio and lead melody line. Then out of nowhere this killer bridge section drops in at 2:17 - smooth as silk. I think its greatness is enhanced by the fact that it's gone within a minute, never to return. Epic closing track Psychosomatique is another moody slow burner, though it's a little unspectacular.

Space Art - Speedway

Space Art - L'obsession d'Archibald

Released in 1980 by Waves/Carrere, the third and final LP called Play Back opens with the lush chords, floating synths and rolling drums of Folkstone Hovercraft. A truly beautiful piece of music that I posted here previously. This album had more players on it and a wider variety of instruments accompanying the synths/drums combo of old. This led to a more varied selection of styles within the tracks and also some vocals for the first time. Paris Vision, whilst not having lyrics, makes good use of a vocoder for its scat style vocals. Love Machine is pure pop with a full on vocoder vocal and guitar power chords. Very cheesey and kitch, and not my favourite to be honest. Alpha du Centaure is nice, coming in three parts, but I don't see the theme running between them myself as each is quite different. Closing track Welcome to Love is another thing of wonder and amazement. More vocoder vocals, more beautiful chord sequences and synthesizer sounds, all accompanied by a brilliant shuffling drumbeat and complementary bassline. The seemingly never ending solo in the last 2+ minutes does eventually fade out unfortunately, but its still one of my favourite tracks.

Space Art - Paris Vision

Space Art - Welcome To Love


trundle197 said...


leo said...

Thank You, i had the music on tape (from the program 'muziek uit de kosmos' (1976-1978)), but did not know who was the auteur, after 30 years now i know