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12 Mar 2017

Plat Du Jour "Plat Du Jour" 1977 France Prog Psych Jazz Rock

Plat Du Jour  "Plat Du Jour" 1977 France Prog  Psych Jazz Rock
Pretty damn strong record by this rather obscure band. They offer a fantastic mix of complex progressive rock and jazz-rock elements. The instrumental work is first class and they've succeeded with the songwriting.
All in all great acid prog, with some good guitar, and innovative sounds, some fusion moves, and French vocals................

Very obscure and unknown, strictly short-lived and super rare to spot, but worth mentioning in the end, PLAT DU JOUR mark a dot on the French eclectic Prog map, somewhere near Rouen apparently, during the year 1977. Their self-titled LP was released under the label Speedball, five compositions (or six, depending on how the first two-part epic is regarded) lasting around 35 minutes. The music can be placed either in jazz-rock, either in avant-prog, but with those two essences clustering and a bit of extra fuzzy psychedelism, cold bass Zeuhl and straight progressive rock being heard, it's wiser to take in account all the nuances.

The details about this project, the story behind it, or the musicians' profile are scarce. The main lineup consists of Vincent Denis (guitars & vocals), Rodolphe Moulin (bass), Oliver Pedron (percussion), Alain Potier (saxophone), Jacques Staub (keyboards, percussion), Francois Ovide(percussion) and Francois Maze (vocals) - the latter two noted as guests, each on one track only. On the SP "Totem/Zil-bra", printed by Speedball around that time as well, Phillipe Doray (likely the artist from PD Asociaux Associes?) is noted as composer. PLAT DU JOUR is mentioned to be one of Ovide's early par-experimental, par-groovy projects (the radical SO & CO. and this laid-back one) - making it more surprising not only that he is a guest musician, but that he also plays drums instead of guitar -, while nothing relevant is known about the other artists. The ensemble's short session could be due to the fact that Ovide moved on to play with Albert MARCOEUR, WEIDORJE, GWENDAL and John GREAVES. There's an additional mention ballparking this band's style close to ETRON FOU LELOUBLAN.

Heavy on the mix, slightly experimental, snappy and groovy and of an uncommon prog taste, Plat Du Jour has its interesting to hear parts. Inside their consistent instrumental universe, rhythms and improvisations kick in, the guitar dominates most of the album, but the saxophone builds one great momentum as well. Tricky music at the beginning - fuzzy, windy, jazzy, mood-mixing afterwards. Vocally, there's both a hoarse, agitated, crazy and a looser taste. The back-cover of the vinyl includes the lyrics.

Fortunately, the album can be nowadays listened for free on Rare if not unique, as a progressive classic collection item, this is first of all for the "catchy/wacko/fun/funky/avant/zeuhlish/jazz-rock" (PA member Rocktopus) music aficionados......Victor "Philip" Părău (Ricochet)............

A brain melting stew of jazz-fusion, Zeuhl and avant-garde experimentation with a pinch of the Canterbury sound (plus anything else you can think of!), the debut/one-off album from obscure French collective Plat du Jour from 1977 is a bewildering but utterly indispensable work! Holding six tracks of dissonant weary sax, noisy guitars, thick liquid bass, sparkling electric piano, colourful keyboards, a battery of rattling drumming and screeching deranged French vocal twitches, it's an eclectic mix that makes for one completely mad vintage era prog album that's worthy of so much more attention and status!
The schizophrenic lead track `5 & 11' opens with drowsy wafting sax ambience and sighing voices before exploding into stuttering filthy and wild electric guitar spasms, nightmarish electric piano trickles and a pained howling vocal, all permeated with a creeping Zeuhl-like menace. `Autoroute' is book-ended by shimmering dreamy washes of glistening ambient synths and ruminative bass, but diverts into a maddening Zeuhl eruption of snarling guitar gargles and murky fuzzed distortion in between. The baffling `Zilbra' moves through everything from pumping dancing beats with funky serpentine bass to sauntering chilled guitar jamming and crooning falsetto before a Canterbury-flavoured dirty fuzz-organ climax behind a Can/Damo Suzuki-like inane spitting scat vocal rant - phew!

Mud-thick slithering bass and maniacal swirling Hammond organ runs graft supremely dirty grooves to the heavily improvised `Totem', guitar crashing through everything from bluesy struts and snarling psychedelic wailing. `L'Homme' is a pleasingly lo-fi and shambling acoustic ballad flecked with the lightest of electric piano tiptoes, droning electronics and fuzzy electric guitar distortion, and closer `Rock 'N' Speed' is a rip-roaring jazz-fusion blowout of spiralling sax and breakneck drumming with a nice mellow come-down in the closing minutes.

After taunting listeners with only a long-vanished initial vinyl run in the Seventies and some uploaded teasing clips on Youtube, finally the `Plat du Jour' album is available again in 2016 on reissued LP and CD sets from the Paisley Press label, so open-minded prog fans can easily track it down again - likely for the first time!

The schizophrenic nature of this set will either make or break the album for listeners, and some of production is a bit do-it- yourself, but these inconsistencies are exactly what give the album a rough grit that makes it even more delicious. If you click with it, there's a ton of danger-laced, unhinged and addictive grooving noise to love with `Plat du Jour', and those looking for fascinating obscurities and unpolished musical gems will likely relish what they find here. It's another in the long line of bizarre one-and-done acts that left a sole precious work to treasure and count among the absolutely essential prog-related fringe albums.

Four and a half Aussie-Byrd-Brother .............

This delightful record is enhanced by its obscure, one-off nature. The songs are high caliber, super groovy french rock and roll with prog colors. Zibra is especially effective with it's African beginning and it's pleading, almost whispered lyrics which of course I understand none of the meaning. A rocking screaming minute brings the song to a close. The next song, Totem, is a killer funk jam, it sounds great.
I have a great friend I've worked with a long time, he's an older guy that loves Led Zeppelin and Foghat and classic rock radio. He likes prog too, but he hates anything I share with lyrics other than English. Well, he's now hooked on Plat du Jour, and his wife is hooked too. That's all the proof I need to give this five stars.

This album is great right out of the box, broken in like the finest Suedevanshoe................

Plat Du Jour: unknown french one shot masterpiece (from the later 70s) of the ecletic progressive rock, in the avant garde vein and weird jazz songwriting. Funky rhythms, technical bass playing, noisy guitars, dissonant sax, outstanding drums and dat keyboards. What else did you need? I like the freak time signatures and tempo changes. The first two tracks are most instrumental. They're great! At Zilbra, the third track, you will find some of the vocals habilities from Vincent Denis. Never saw him, but I like his vocals: from high smooth to a proto death metal agression. The B side starts out with Totem, the lenghty track of the album. L'homme is a song to break the chaos, based on the acoustic guitar and vocals. And finally the last track, Rock N Speed, it start as a fast rock, as the title description, and falls into a delicious atmospheric jazz. No weak moment. It's just the way it should VOTOMS..............

 I loved this right from the first listen. This obscure French band released this one album back in 1977. The sax, fuzzed out guitar, throbbing bass, mad vocals,electric piano along with that catchy beat spells brilliance. On the one hand it is melodic yet at the same time challenging and innovative. Never dull always interesting. Once again thankyou David, your reviews inspire.
"5 Autoroute" opens with relaxed sax and sparse electric piano. The guitar kicks in around a minute with drums. The sax and electric piano continue but with more passion. Vocals before 3 minutes and the guitar is grinding away after 4 minutes until it starts to rip it up a minute later. Nice. Amazing tune ! "11 Autoroute" opens with atmosphere which continues until it kicks in just before 2 minutes with the drums and electric piano standing out. The bass joins in then some fuzzed out guitar. It settles back around 3 1/2 minutes but not for long as the electric piano, drums and guitar become more aggressive once again. Atmosphere 4 1/2 minutes in to the end. "Zilbra" is uptempo with percussion and vocal expressions early on. It settles back as the vocals sing lyrics here. It kicks back in before 4 minutes with guitar and theatrical vocals leading the way.

"Totem" is a catchy mid-paced tune. How good are the vocals ! It settles back as the organ and drums start to lead then it builds. Guitar before 5 minutes. Great sound ! A dead calm before 7 minutes then reserved vocals come in to end it. "L'homme" has strummed guitar, a slow beat and mellow vocals. Fuzzed guitar and electric piano replace the vocals as it gets dirty. "Rock 'N' Speed" features sax, electric piano and more in this uptempo soundscape. Drums and guitar kick in as the sax plays over top. It does settle back and the sax is dissonant at times.

It's an absolute pleasure to listen to something as adventerous and enjoyable as Mellotron Storm ...............

The main reason for me to keep a daily watch on PA is to find new bands like this French avant-prog/fusion group. Reading two well written reviews and a great bio made me want to listen to this album that can be found for free on myspace (searching on google you can also find a download).

Plat Du Jour is a very obscure, yet brilliantly recorded, one-album band from French with a unique style. The music is daring, expressive and pioneering. My best description would sound as follows; Take the heavy avant-prog composion of Quiet Sun, some of the atmospheres of both Cos and Can and spread it with a French fusion (Zeuhl-influenced) sauce. The music is therefor very attractive for listeners of Canterbury, kraut, psych, avant-garde and eclectic prog. The music has a fusion and funk basis, but the bizar vocals (both mellow folk & very psychedelic) and atmospheres with shredding free-jazz guitars and even some hammonds screaming for survival (in the track 'Totum') make this an unforgettable experience. The rhythms are often complicated, yet repetitive; hence the link to the Canterbury scene. During the track 'L'Homme' we are also treated with some experimental symphonic guitar effects after the experimental folky vocals.

Conclusion. Progressive rock with the big P, every musician's a winner, garentued baffling first listening experience and totally unique. This could be PA top 25 material in my opinion. Don't miss out on this friso ...........

Bass, Vocals – Rodolphe Moulin
Drums, Percussion – Olivier Pedron
Guitar, Vocals – Vincent Denis
Keyboards, Percussion – Jacques Staub
Photography By – G. Mangolt
Producer – Plat Du Jour
Recorded By, Mixed By – Gilles Salle
Saxophone, Vocals – Alain Potier
Technician [Assistant] – Olivier Croquennec

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..





Cassete Deck

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