Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Underrated debut from one of the French prog greats
BENJAMIN MILER | Veneta, Oregon | 06/14/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Pollen, the 1975 debut by this band from Lyon, France, is often overlooked in light of their next two albums, Strands of the Future and Halloween. The album was originally released on the Kingdom label, a label ran by Terry King (who was also a manager for Caravan, and Caravan themselves ended up recording for that label for a short time in the early '80s). Decca in the UK also issued this album a year later (in 1976). This album tends to be a bit more experimental and abstract than the ones to follow. The Mellotron isn't even present, instead its plastered with Solina string synths. The ARP 2600 is the other dominate keyboard used. The vocals are all in French (except for some spoken dialog, in English on "Puzzle/Omen"). It's their only album you can actually tell what language they're singing in, likely because it's bassist Phillipe Ramon (presumably the brother of keyboardist Jacques Ramon), who handled the vocals here. He left the band after this album. The album opens up with "Pulsar", which is basically an experiment in synthesizers and drums (provided by Victor Bosch). "Apaisment" is a stunning and haunting piece every much the classic Pulsar as to be found on their following albums. The piece ends with Rolland Richard giving us some flute. "Puzzle/Omen" is largely an instrumental piece, a faster piece number, with largely wordless voices, and the ARP 2600 synthesizer. The middle part changes to something more piano-dominated with female narrations (provided by Carmel Williams) in English. "Le Chevel de Syllogie" is by far the most experimental piece on the album. There is some more spoken dialog (this time in French), only the voice is electronically modified, and apparently done by one of the band members. Lots of bizarre electronic effects are also provided. "Pollen" is the last number on this album, and closest to the Pink Floyd sound, especially the use of Hammond organ. If you already enjoy Strands of the Future and Halloween, be sure to get this album as well."