This is a new duo from France considering Fabrice “Chfab” Chouette and Patrick “Paskinei” Dufour that started Alco Frisbass two years ago. Their music is this combination between the Canterbury scene and the Rock in Opposition genre flowing in well together. And their sole self-titled debut album released this year on the Fading Records label, is perhaps an adventure from start to finish.
And with guests including Jacob Holm Lupo of White Willow, Archimede De Martini of Stormy Six, and Thierry Payssan of Minimum Vital, it is a perfect combination on what to expect when you listen to the sounds of Alco Frisbass’ music. It’s this mixture between swarming keyboards with ambient/atmospheric surroundings along with the textures between Caravan, Gong, Gentle Giant, Soft Machine, and Camel to name a few by mixing it up and creating this mysterious wonders on what is to come.
Opener, La Suspension Ethereene starts off with a moody/soothing introduction on the Fender Rhodes, minor sounds from the Piano, and the relaxing Violin sounds done by De Martini that starts off for the first minute and twenty-three seconds. And then, all of a sudden, it becomes a dash towards the door in the RIO format with a hyperactive beat in the styles of Aranis and not to mention the electronic surroundings of the Mellotron coming right behind you.
The midsection becomes a dreamland soundscape as the duo goes into the other worlds that shows where the listener can go into throughout the suspension of time before De Martini and Holm-Lupo really go into the stages of the solo improvisations on their instruments before landing in on the reprise for a closing section.
Pas a Pas is a touch of the electronic and ambient surroundings that sounds like something straight out of the sessions for Franco Battiato’s Fetus-era with some of the ominous backgrounds and futuristic beauty coming into play while Induction Magnetique goes into the tribute to the Canterbury sound of the golden era of the late ‘60s/early ‘70s.
It starts off with an Organ and Drums starting the introduction followed by the Bass and the Fuzztone sounds that resembles Dave Stewart of Egg, Mike Ratledge of Soft Machine, and Dave Sinclair of Caravan. And not to mention the background vocalizations, which shows a touch of the whimsical scenery that gives it the perfect tribute to the genre.
La Danse du Pantin is the ultimate psychedelic-prog trip featuring church-like organs, ominous guitars, ascending organs, and starting back on the trip with a dystopian amusement park like you haven’t seen before turned into madness with a steady pulse. The 12-minute Escamotage starts off with a mysterious tone between the keyboards, fuzz Bass, De Martini’s haunting violin solo, guitar, and drums before going into the spacey voyages resembling the sessions for Camel’s Moonmadness as Fabrice pays tribute on his guitar playing to both Andy Latimer and Robert Fripp.
It is also a chilled-out composition that will take all the stress out at times, but they really go into the stars and into our solar systems on here as the closer, Judith Coupeuse de Tete, is almost like a final curtain call to tell the listener that they have one more to close it off for the perfect slice of cake with the cherry on top.
Beginning with the Fender Rhodes starting off with a magical and yet ascending tone thanks to the Organ coming in that reminded me of something that Alco Frisbass could have scored for Hayao Miyazaki’s Castle in the Sky. And the melody between acoustic and electric guitar along with the drumming and organ sets the mysticism groove of what mysteries and secrets tell in the flying castle thanks to the synths and the mellotron closing it out for a round of applause.
This is my third time listening to Alco Frisbass’ debut and I have to say, I enjoyed it from start to finish. The duo really brought a lot of inspirations and help from friends along with the mastering done by Udi Koomran and the mixing by Paolo “SKE” Botta which is a perfect combination, shows how much work and progress is done on here. I can’t wait to hear more on what the future will be ready for both Fabrice “Chfab” Chouette and Patrick “Paskinel” Dufour.