Sjef Oellers 24-Feb-2001 Catalyse/Primitive Expression

Ame Son was one the early experimental French bands, playing mostly spacey free rock with elements of 60's psychedelica (especially Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd) infiltrating their sound. The guy in the shop where I bought this album called this band the French equivalent to Can (i.e. early Can), which is an interesting comparison. In addition, I would say that they sound like a cross between Pink Floyd and early Gong as well. What reminds me of Can are the driving rhythm section on some tracks and the experimental free rock sections with wild percussion and mutated electric guitar (think of the Can tracks "Aumgn" or "Soup" or otherwise Ash Ra Tempel). This raw, experimental sound is balanced by the frequent use of beautiful, dreamy flute flights. Although the album may sound rather dated to some listeners, I think that it is a marvelous, early example of French avant-garde rock. Ame Son was more or the less the nucleus for the equally interesting French bands Cheval Fou and Nyl. I have heard another album by Ame Son called Primitive Expession, which includes outtakes, unreleased tracks and demos mostly from the 70's. The later tracks are much more straight and less experimental, and while pleasant, they are not nearly as good as the full 25-minute version of "Je Veux Juste Dire". Primitive Expession is a nice addition to your collection if you have a special interest in this band, but otherwise this album is not essential.

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