Named from the south-alpine lakes they are coming from, « Gialorgues »(released in 1976) was SHYLOCK's first self-produced album. A unique personality, a rough diamond of the french instrumental progressive rock, in which reflect Frippian guitars and KING CRIMSON's influences on symphonic moods reminding GOBLIN........
Among the French progressive groups appearing at the twilight of the "glorious decade", Shylock was the only one to know the honors of a signature with a major label, CBS. This privilege proved, no one would be surprised, double-edged: if it allowed the Nice group to benefit from a significant media coverage (articles in Best and Rock In Stock in particular), it soon imposed constraints Which ultimately led to its unity and provoked its dissolution.
Shylock was born in 1974 of three young musicians from Nice: Frédéric L'Epée (guitar), Didier Lustig (keyboards) and André Fisichella (drums). This trio will remain for the next five years the base of the formation, which will not arrive until later to find a stable bassist. Fruit of a year of intense joint work, Gialorgues is recorded in June 1975: it will not be released until the following year, in self-production, before being repressed by CBS at the signing of the group, in 1977.
Still imprinted with immaturity, these three compositions (13:05, 3:50 and 18:54) assert, however, a personality apart. This owes much to the rather unusual division of tasks between guitar and keyboards: these latter largely dominate the sound, creating atmospheres both precious and unreal that are the foundation of the compositions. Didier Lustig predominantly uses the Elka Rhapsody, an analog synthesizer with sound close to that of a harpsichord, to weave repetitive and mesmerizing frames that are not unlike the work of a Philip Glass, in less minimalist. Frédéric L'Epée is relatively withdrawn, the role of his guitar being purely solo, excluding any rhythmic support. As for Andre Fisichella, it is a little weak link of the whole: if the absence of a true bassist (and especially low-battery osmosis which alone can give life to the compositions) and a production without relief Are certainly to blame, his game still lacks solidity and wealth.
The result is a music that stays a bit static, without really strong contrasts, in short a halftone album. The melodic ideas are present, but they are not sufficiently emphasized by an interpretation that is still somewhat academic. Nevertheless, Gialorgues is generally a success because it imposes a style, certainly still in the making, but already of a great originality.
The following album, Ile de Fièvre, should have, in all logic, definitely devote this exceptional talent. Unfortunately, this will not be the case. Under the relentless pressure of CBS, Shylock entered the studio in February 1978 with only twenty minutes of composed and arranged music. The resulting album gives a good idea what can be led to make a group taken courses and contractually obliged to produce twice as much music as it has to offer ...
All the articles in the catalog of the resourcefulness are present on the display: resurrection of an unused sequence of an old piece ("Choral"), hazardous "beef" on a repetitive rhythmic pattern ("Himogen" Spontaneous improvisations in the great 'Crimsonian' tradition ("The Blood of the Capucines", "Ivy of Today" [sic]). In some cases, exercise can produce an unexpected result, but Shylock's talent is clearly not in unbridled improvisation, and the impression of foul play remains predominant.
Yes, the talent of Shylock is elsewhere, and "Island of Fever" (12:59) proves it beyond all hope. Let's say it frankly: if the whole album had been at the level of this piece that gives it its title, there is no doubt that it could have been called a masterpiece. Here is indeed a pure marvel which is the masterful culmination of the style sketched on Gialorgues. After a solitary introduction of Didier Lustig and his enchanting keyboards, the introduction of his colleagues gives the full measure of the progress achieved in the space of three years: overall cohesion is perfect, changes in themes, Atmospheres negotiated with an infallible brio, solo interventions (the Moog in particular) of real feasts. To listen to this jewel, one understands that a group like Änglagård insistently claims the influence of the Nice group!
The other composition is not very consistent, "Laocksetal" (10:27), unfortunately does not transform this essay so promising. It is more hermetic, less melodic, less skilfully constructed, it brings to a certain extent the defects of the other titles of the album, its experimental dimension (especially on the end) once again appearing as a way to lengthen the sauce with less cost .
Listening to the bonus track proposed on the CD reissue, recorded in 1979 for a third album that never saw the light of day, we measure how far we have gone, with Ile de Fevre, next to a work Major.......Aymeric LEROY........
Track Listings 1. Le Quatrième (13:05) 2. Le Sixième (3:50) 3. Le Cinquième (18:54) 4. Pendule (3:02) 5. Sous une arche de pierre (6:26) 6. Prélude a l'éclipse (2:11) 7. La robe et le chat (1:48) 8. Pour le bal des pauvres (1:45)
Line-up/Musicians André Fisichella - drums and percussion Frédéric l'Épée - guitars, bass Didier Lustig - keyboards