Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Forever Blowing Bubbles
Import reissue of keyboardist Cyrille Verdeaux's second album as Clearlight Symphony, originally released in 1975. Forever Blowing Bubbles release in the UK gave Clearlight the international recognition they deserved. Feat... more »
Import reissue of keyboardist Cyrille Verdeaux's second album as Clearlight Symphony, originally released in 1975. Forever Blowing Bubbles release in the UK gave Clearlight the international recognition they deserved. Featuring Joel Dugrenot (ex-Zao), violinist David Cross (King Crimson) & guitarist/flutist Jean Claude d'Agostini (Magic Circus). Featuring the bonus tracks 'Sweet Absinthe', 'Without Words' (Mellotron Remix) & 'Flute Aquatique'. 2001.
A fine album much like Hillage
BENJAMIN MILER | Veneta, Oregon | 03/03/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I became aware of Clearlight because I was told they were just like Gong. Well, Clearlight was really less a band and more a project lead by French keyboardist Cyrille Verdeaux. The first Clearlight album, released in 1975 on Virgin (back in the good old days when the label was actually concerned about music, not making a fast buck), Clearlight Symphony featured such Gong members as Steve Hillage, Tim Blake, and Didier Malherbe. Forever Blowing Bubbles, also released in 1975 and on Virgin, no longer featured any Gong members, but the guests here include David Cross of King Crimson on violin, Christian Boulé on cosmic guitar (he also appeared live with Steve Hillage on the Live Herald album), Gilbert Artman on drums and percussion, Amanda Parsons and Ann Rosenthal doing celestial choir (they were two thirds of the "Northettes", along with Barbara Gaskin who were responsible for those heavenly female choruses you hear on both of Hatfield & the North's albums), plus too many others to mention. Anyway, Clearlight's Forever Blowing Bubbles sounds a lot less like Gong and more like a symphonic version of Steve Hillage's solo works, particularly Fish Rising. The music is largely instrumental, you won't hear any silly stories about Pot Head Pixies like the Daevid Allen version of Gong or of Eastern and New Age philosophy like you would Hillage's solo works. The presence of piano and Mellotron makes this something you never hear on any Gong or Hillage album (well, a little Mellotron is used on You, but that's it). The opening cut, "Chanson" is a vocal cut, male vocals this time, in French. This sounds like rather typical symphonic prog, not much like Gong or Hillage. There's some violin courtesy of David Cross, and the female chorus from Ann Rosenthal and Amanda Parsons. The second cut, "Without Words" starts off with piano and synth, but it's the middle part that sounds very much like Hillage, especially the guitar solo, and then it ends with a rather atmospheric, Pink Floyd-like Hammond organ. The next cut, "Way" is a stroke of genius. It starts off with some cool wordless vocals and Mellotron choir sounds before the piano kicks in letting David Cross show what he's made of, then when the synthesizers kick in, the speed of the music gets faster and faster (thanks to slowing down the tape when recording it and playing it at normal speed). These first three songs represents side one of the LP. Unfortunatley I find side two a little less remarkable. "Ergotrip" is just one of those cuts that seems to go nowhere, luckily the next cut that segues in to it, "En Pendandt Ce Temps La" is much better and harkens to the best moments of side one. "Narcisse et Goldmund" features a female vocalist named Brigette Roy singing in French. It sounds a little out of place and it seem more in the French chanson style, but it's still a nice piece, paricularly because the Mellotron is used. Unfortunately I find the closing cut, "Jungle Bubbles" a bit anticlimatic, because it's just a bunch of VCS-3 synth bubble sounds and percussion and little else. But despite my complaints, if you wondered how Hillage might have sounded like if he went for a more symphonic approach by adding piano and Mellotron, get Clearlight's Forever Blowing Bubbles."
Warren W. Nelson | Mooresville, NC USA | 11/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a stunning followup to the stunning self titled debut. The music follows pretty much in the same direction as the first which would be highly varied and densely textured symphonic prog, not so much because of the metric changes and reversals associated with this genre, but in the evolving and accumulating density of not only the instrumental variety, but in the compositions themselves. Some have compared Cyrille Verdeaux's work to that of Mike Oldfield since he has an organic approach to his music; and the changes evolve naturally and gather to crescendos streaming out to beyond the reaches of the atmosphere. Christian Boule's stunning guitar plays an even more prominant role than in the first album and the large variety of keys, mellotron, and synthesizer are textured with woodwinds, violin, and choir giving this album a huge sonic density. I frequently hear a multitude of melodies evolve simultatiously out of a single riff. Song structures seem to be composed of gentle french hymns which build in color finally evolving into a kind of psychedelic ecstacy. This is highly original and very reccomended music!"