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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

P'FAUN: sp'roque (2018)

Updated: Apr 11, 2020

“sp'roque is what I call a breath of freshness with a musical vision a bit apart but well anchored in the roots of Berlin School of the 70's”

1 sp'roque - part 2 10:16 2 only one life 11:01 3 sp'roque - part 1 12:41 4 at first sight 6:54 5 sequencer improvisation (bonus track) 18:39 P'Faun Music

(CD/DDL 59:33) (V.F.) (Cosmic Prog Rock)

During the last years, I learnt that when Michael Brückner's name was affixed on a project, it catches instantly my attention. This new band, P'Faun, doesn't make an exception. P'Faun is the new name of Betzler & Brückner, whereas initially the first name of Betzler & Brückner on stage was P'Faun. Strange story isn't it? Co-founder of the legendary German rock band P'Cock, Tommy Betzler always seems to have a spiritual link of attraction, of affection for this name. And we have to admit that phonetically P' Faun is not that far from P'Cock. SP'ROQUE, for space rock, is in the continuity of the album Triplet where the German duet recorded this album with Sammy David and Fryderyk Jona. Except that this time, the musical vision is more into rock with Sammy David on guitar and bass.

Tommy Betzler's drum hits our loudspeakers solidly by not missing to make us jump with raw and incisive strikes. sp'roque - part 2 starts things up with keen oscillations before being snatched up by curt and hatched riffs. These riffs bite as much than the percussions these oscillating lines which the background structure of this crazy progressive rock hymn. Progressive rock? Absolutely! And I would add even rather experimental. Krautrock maybe, because of the electronic effects and the some phases of ambiences, I like this layer of chthonian voices around the 6 minutes, but the rock side of sp'roque - part 2 is resolutely anchored with this dynamic trio which delivers here a whole impressive piece of heavy cosmic rock. The music is heavy and lively. I think of a mixture between MorPheuSz, Deep Purple, E.L.P. and Van Halen with some great soloes of synth and guitar a la Frank Dorittke which make dual over an intensive bludgeoning of the percussions, exception made of the short ambient phases. Absolutely the wildest title in the sphere of EM this year, and 2018 is more than juicy at this level. I am one of those who thinks that a drummer and a guitarist multiply the charms and open new horizons to EM. They serve very well the cause in the Country Cosmic opening of only one life. The tones of the clogs from Tommy Betzler's percussions are candy for my ears. Here, it's totally the opposite of sp'roque - part 2 while the phases of rhythm, rather intense all the same, are also brief than those phases of atmospheres on the opening track. An ambient ballad with Arabic perfumes, only one life evolves between its electronic fineries, among which some good circular stroboscopic strands and nice harmonies murmured by foggy voices, and its theatrical den sewn by a guitar as much vaporous than misty as well as percussions in mode tribal.

A little slower, and just as much wild than its part 2, sp'roque - part 1 is really in the spirit of a more experimental cosmic rock a la Ozric Tentacles. The percussions are sustained and animated while the duels between synth and guitar are going over a bed of bass which refuses the anonymity. The idea to insert a quieter title between these two parts is very judicious. After a brief introduction weaved in the art of astral nebulosity, Sammy David lays down slow and long laments on a structure which has all the looks of Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here reinvented. A line of sequences begins skipping with more swiftness in a very electronic decor. Little by little, at first sight gives itself ammunitions to explode in a heavy mixture of cosmic rock and blues. Sammy David fills our ears up to the top with great solos which remain very attached to harmonious bases while the duet Betzler & Brückner hangs onto a good semi-slow, ideal structure for a dance of underfed Zombies, forged in a good complicity between the percussions and the sequencer. Michael Brückner meets Sammy David's challenges with synth solos which are a little less harmonious but charmingly daring. sequencer improvisation (bonus track) is a little delight to any fan of sequencer creator of motionless and always enticing rhythms.

Offered both in downloadable format and in manufacture pressed CD mixed by Michael Brückner and masterised by none other than Hans-Dieter Schmidt, SP'ROQUE is what I call a breath of freshness which circulates rather well between the beautiful discoveries that I heard and reviewed recently (Beyond Berlin, Banks&Smith, Mutagenese and Galactic Underground). This is rock cosmic at its best with an experimental touch which remains profoundly anchored in the roots of Berlin School, of the 70's with an Ashra in full expanding artistic. A must!

Sylvain Lupari (March 10th, 2018) *****

Available at P'Faun's Bandcamp

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