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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

VANGELIS: La Fête Sauvage (1976)

This is a nice album which mixes cleverly the acoustic African instruments to more electronic ones in a charming sounds pallet

1 La Fête Sauvage 38:35 Barclay France 823.756-2

(CD 38:35) (V.F.) (Mix of tribal and electronic moods)

Second collaboration, after l'Apocalypse des Animaux in 1973, between the French film-maker Frédéric Rossif and Vangelis, LA FÊTE SAUVAGE is a little made around the same principle as Fais que ton Rêve soit plus long que la Nuit, that is to say a long mosaic of 38 minutes where nests a multitude of structures with atmospheres of tumult. Except that here, a dozen of tracks, all very well separated (in fact the album would have very well been able to have 11 very different distinct segments or tracks), weave a sound mosaic where tribal African rhythms are skillfully mixed to ethereal atmospheres and where the cosmos flirts with lyricism.

And that begins with tom-toms which rage under the electronic horns of Vangelis' synths. The harmonies which wind in loops over a frenzied rhythm of African dance are the kind to forge indestructible musical itches. The audacity of Vangelis is to unite African musicians in his London studios to play the tom-toms, others are going to sing in the segment two, in an electronic universe. It's in the spirit of the 70's with a Disco approach, of dance music which plasticizes a little Giorgio Moroder's style. Another segment of African rhythm, more in the kind of Santana, comes to move our feet around the 12th minute. The clock stops at 2:27 minutes where chants and percussions of Africa enchant our ears under the charms of a synth of which the very retiring melody will take back its throne in the magnificent part of about ten minutes (between 18:12 and 27:18) when the voice of Vana Veroutis, that we heard in Heaven and Hell, caresses our sense of hearing with so much delicacy as these arpeggios which ring such as glittering reflections. The dreamlike atmospheres and those of a jungle in constant urgency to live are exchanging roles throughout the 38 minutes of the album. There are always these moments when the line between cosmos and esotericism is edging over the emotions of sounds. I think in particular of this section where a flute with a lot of Asian essences sing on a bed of percussions charmed by these celestial harmonies. That makes very Kitaro! Although Kitaro came later.

The section with Vana Veroutis, or around the 18th minute, announces the most serene moments of this album where we always have this impression to hear some already-heard tunes, so much these fragments have danced in our ears. There is beautiful moments of tenderness scattered in these minutes with some sinister, even dark atmospheres, a little as if Vangelis wanted to denounce the horrors which cement the world interest on the fate of jungles and of their inhabitants. In brief, a nice album which exists under various forms (a few editions present some of Ignacio's extracts while cutting the original music of this movie), thus vigilance is required. But if you are alert, you can find it at good price over the Internet!

Sylvain Lupari (February 25th, 2015) ***½**

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