Saturday, 21 April 2018

Dragon “Dragon” 1976 + "Kalahen / Plus" 1977 Belgium Prog Rock


Dragon “Dragon” 1976 +  "Kalahen / Plus" 1977 Belgium Prog Rock 
full two albums on vk
https://vk.com/wall-112611966_5756


Dragon is one of the most original and interesting albums of Art Rock ever published by the Belgians (who are known to be mostly adherents and legislators of RIO). Except for the first track, which has a tranquil, tranquil sound with a flute “on the front line,” the album abounds with detailed instrumental canvases with complex, fascinating arrangements and fully complies with the canons of classic Art Rock. However, there is no need to speak about the unmitigated Art Rock, because music is sometimes distinctly heavy, there are quasi improvisations, although symphonic structures prevail. In general, the album can be imagined as a synthesis of Van Der Graaf Generator, Iron Butterfly and Uriah Heep (“Salisbury”). But, please note, since the material is exceptionally original, the examples I gave are conditional. In addition to the beautiful, but somewhat monotonous first, all the compositions are of excellent quality, but especially the longest ones - the second (Lucifer) and the last (Crystal Ball). Vocals, in my opinion, are not very expressive, but there are not many of them. If the album slightly falls short of the status of a masterpiece, then only with an eye for the classics of the genre, primarily English. Although it was published today, I certainly would sing to him exclusively praises. Anyway, this is a very fascinating nostalgic journey into the fabulous world of progressive music of the seventies. 

The history of this Belgian group began back in 1967, when the team Burning Light appeared in Ath town. Then it consisted of two brothers - guitarist Jean Vanaise and drummer Georges Vanaise, keyboardist Jean-Pierre Pirard, bassist Jean Pierre Houx, vocalist Michel Lefevre (Michael Lefevre) and another singer, whose name has not reached our days. It is only known that he was from Zaire and sang very much like Jimi Hendrix. The band played at the festival in Coq sur Meg - the largest event of its kind for the Belgian rock scene, because there were about forty bands performing there! In the early 70’s, Burning Light began to change the composition. In 1971, the group joined Bernard Callaert (Bernard Callaert), who played guitar and bass guitar, and about the same time, three veterans broke away. Lefebvre chose to continue studying and for this he abandoned music. Piardard left because of health problems, but he did not lose contact with former colleagues and then, after several years, drew a cover for the album of his old band. But the black singer became an employee of the diplomatic corps of the Republic of Zaire in Belgium. 
The band successfully perfected their style at concerts, and even then it was a bizarre mixture of heavier blues, psychedelia and art-rock. Since 1973, to enhance visual impact, during their performances, the guys began to use a psychedelic light show and make-up. In 1976, there was another participant - Christian Duponschel (Christian Duponcheel), successfully complemented the sound of the band organ and other keyboard instruments. It is interesting that he met other musicians in his brother’s store, where Burning Light came in full force to update the arsenal of musical instruments. This meeting was very useful, because soon the group was faced with the question of recording the album. And they were lucky, since Burning Light went straight to England, where in Acron Studios in the city of Stonesfield, they started recording sessions. The sound engineer Colin Bateman led the process, which helped the musicians in their hard work. The whole project was carried out under the aegis of EMI and New Musical Express, something like helping young Belgian talents. However, later the production and distribution of the album was dealt with by Gamma Records. 
Suddenly, while working in the studio, the musicians decided that Burning Light’s name was no longer relevant, and it was necessary to come up with a new one. After a short hesitation, they decided to call themselves Dragon. Then there was not yet a fantasy-pau-er era, and the name did not seem so banal as it is now. Critics warmly accepted the album of the “new” band, one of them even outlined the music of Dragon, as a mixture of Golden Earring, Pink Floyd and Iron Butterfly. And, I must say, hit the mark! From Golden Earring, they took the dynamism inherent in the works of the Dutch of those years, from Pink Floyd - the depth and progressive nature of the material, and from Iron Butterfly - keyboard passages, because the Belgians, like the legendary Americans, used the Vox organ (although sometimes it sounded like Dragon hammond). But this, of course, is only the basis of the music of Dragon, after all, and their own ideas they had plenty. In addition, three in the group perfectly owned wind instruments, which gave the album “Dragon” a unique flavor. 
Although the band did business with Gamma Records, the musicians themselves managed to sell as many as 1,500 copies of their album during the concerts. The question arose about recording the second disc, but in the same year 1976, all the members of the group……~



The history of this Belgian group began back in 1967, when the team Burning Light appeared in Ath town. Then it consisted of two brothers - guitarist Jean Vanaise and drummer Georges Vanaise, keyboardist Jean-Pierre Pirard, bassist Jean Pierre Houx, vocalist Michel Lefevre (Michael Lefevre) and another singer, whose name has not reached our days. It is only known that he was from Zaire and sang very much like Jimi Hendrix. The band played at the festival in Coq sur Meg - the largest event of its kind for the Belgian rock scene, because there were about forty bands performing there! In the early 70’s, Burning Light began to change the composition. In 1971, the group joined Bernard Callaert (Bernard Callaert), who played guitar and bass guitar, and about the same time, three veterans broke away. Lefebvre chose to continue studying and for this he abandoned music. Piardard left because of health problems, but he did not lose contact with former colleagues and then, after several years, drew a cover for the album of his old band. But the black singer became an employee of the diplomatic corps of the Republic of Zaire in Belgium. 
The band successfully perfected their style at concerts, and even then it was a bizarre mixture of heavier blues, psychedelia and art-rock. Since 1973, to enhance visual impact, during their performances, the guys began to use a psychedelic light show and make-up. In 1976, there was another participant - Christian Duponschel (Christian Duponcheel), successfully complemented the sound of the band organ and other keyboard instruments. It is interesting that he met other musicians in his brother’s store, where Burning Light came in full force to update the arsenal of musical instruments. This meeting was very useful, because soon the group was faced with the question of recording the album. And they were lucky, since Burning Light went straight to England, where in Acron Studios in the city of Stonesfield, they started recording sessions. The sound engineer Colin Bateman led the process, which helped the musicians in their hard work. The whole project was carried out under the aegis of EMI and New Musical Express, something like helping young Belgian talents. However, later the production and distribution of the album was dealt with by Gamma Records. 
Suddenly, while working in the studio, the musicians decided that Burning Light’s name was no longer relevant, and it was necessary to come up with a new one. After a short hesitation, they decided to call themselves Dragon. Then there was not yet a fantasy-pau-er era, and the name did not seem so banal as it is now. Critics warmly accepted the album of the “new” band, one of them even outlined the music of Dragon, as a mixture of Golden Earring, Pink Floyd and Iron Butterfly. And, I must say, hit the mark! From Golden Earring, they took the dynamism inherent in the works of the Dutch of those years, from Pink Floyd - the depth and progressive nature of the material, and from Iron Butterfly - keyboard passages, because the Belgians, like the legendary Americans, used the Vox organ (although sometimes it sounded like Dragon hammond). But this, of course, is only the basis of the music of Dragon, after all, and their own ideas they had plenty. In addition, three in the group perfectly owned wind instruments, which gave the album “Dragon” a unique flavor. 
Although the band did business with Gamma Records, the musicians themselves managed to sell as many as 1,500 copies of their album during the concerts. There was a question about recording the second disc, but in the same year 1976, all the participants in the group were marred by marriages, which greatly weakened their interest in music. And they did not bring the desired financial results. In 1977, Dragon quietly dispersed. The most offensive is that they did not even have time to make a new name! After the breakup, the second album, called “Kalahen”, was released. In 1989, Musea re-released the debut CD of this remarkable band…..~



Dragon “Dragon” 1976

DRAGON are a Heavy-Prog/Psychedelic band from Belgium, featuring keyboardist Christian Duponcheel, one time a holder of the keys in another fine Belgian band by the name of LAGGER BLUES MACHINE. This debut release of theirs was recorded in the U.K. during November 1976, and really picks up the banner that PINK FLOYD left off way back in 1971. Full of early 70’s vibes and sounds, sometimes amateurish vocals, these guys were probably too stoned to realise that it was almost 1977 by the time they entered the studio - and that’s not a criticism, it adds to the charm of this wonderful record, recently re-issued in coloured vinyl on the ‘Golden Pavillion’ label. 'Introduction - Insects’ is an instrumental with a heavy rhythm and dramatic riff. I’m always reminded of the Floyd and early Eloy, thanks to the organ, synth and guitar. 'Lucifer’ is the longest track at over 9 min, starts with seaside sounds of rippling water and gulls crying (hardly sinister, wouldn’t you say ??) . Softly strummed guitar and almost jazzy interplay between the instruments with a nice 'walking’ bass-line at mid-tempo soon picks up to the verse section, with pretty stoned vocals from Bernard Tallaert, who also plays guitar. The following section kicks off with a slow moody part full of swirling string-synth (by lead guitarist Jean Vanaise) and flute (by drummer Georges Vanaise). It’s rather spacey now with some melodious aah-aah chanting (ala Floyd) and hand percussion. Finishing off with the return of the heavier verse section, quite an adventurous piece of music over its duration. Side 1 closes with a ballad-like song 'Leave Me With Tears’ heavy with acoustic guitar, pleasant and inoffensive. 'Gone in The Wind’ is an up-tempo pop-song with a great chorus and some mellotron. The pick of the bunch for this listener is the 8 min + 'In The Blue’ - it features some experimental sounds from guitar and what I think is the credited Clavioline (some very primitive synthesiser, I think). The Bassist Jean-Pierre Houx adds some Trombone to the heady atmosphere, and after some minutes builds into the vocal section with an amazing melody. The harmony vocals are very well done. Here the rhythm guitaring is killer and the Hammond that solos around is ripped straight out of 1967. Phenomenal track. 'Crystal Ball, is another goodie which finishes the album off perfectly, and is structured in a similar way to KHAN’s 'Hollow Stone’ (which is the final track off that album). I’m a sucker for these vintage sounding albums so I give Dragon S/T a 4 star rating…. by Tom Ozric …~

Originally named Burning Light, this Belgian group from Ath was formed in 1970 by brothers Georges and Jean Vanaise, having two lead vocalists.Shortly after Jean would handle the vocals and the stable line-up would be completed with Bernard Callaert on guitars and multi- instrumentalist Jean-Pierre Houx.Several appearances at festivals would follow, the band even used masks, make-ups and smoke machines, offering great shows.In 1976 they were joined by ex-Lagger Blues Machine Christian Duponcheel on keyboards/sax and they recorded their self-titled LP at Acorn studios.It was a private press of 1500 copies, distributed mostly by the band and Gamma Records. 
The album opens with the light symphonic intro “Intoduction” with synths, organ, piano and smooth guitar interplays to be followed by “Lucifer”.This one is a fine piece of jazzy Heavy Prog with somewhat dull melodramatic vocals and strong guitars, switching into a Space Rock opus after the middle with trippy vocals, good flute work, psychedelic guitars and supporting synths.“Leave me with tears” is a bit dated, sort of Heavy/Psych Prog with both acoustic and electric guitars, polyphonic vocals but also some interesting solos throughout.“Gone in the wind” comes like a cross between BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST and URIAH HEEP, Heavy Blues Rock with piano and mellotron on the forefront but annoying vocals.The groove is quite catchy though.“In the Blue” kicks off with boring Electronic/Psych soundscapes before some jazzy guitars, vibraphones and synths add a spacey atmosphere, later to become a nice organ- driven CAMEL-esque cut with lovely vocal arrangements until the end.“Crystal ball” features again annoying theatrical vocal performances, but the great passages of organ, guitars ans synthesizers make this track a winner, the atmosphere is really haunting and this one is propably the best number included in the album. 

An album with huge interest for most of its part, but unfortunately almost every track has a little black hole, being either the vocals or the lack of some great inspiration.Dragon’s debut has seen a couple of CD and LP reissues and it is really easy to find today.Easily recommended to fans of 70’s Heavy/Psych/Symph Prog in the vein of URIAH HEEP, ATOMIC ROOSTER and even CAMEL…by…by apps79 ….~

An inventive Belgian outfit who released two English-language albums during the late-seventies, Dragon are the kind of group for whom the word 'obscure’ was invented. Issued in 1976, this self-titled debut blends a hard- edged dynamic, washes of jazzy mellotron and some awkward moments of surreal humour to intriguing effect, falling somewhere between the brash excess of Deep Purple and the arty ambitions of King Crimson, just with that slightly odd European signature that colours so much of the continents progressive output. Album highlights include the opener track 'Introduction’, which sports a slightly mystical atmosphere, and the oddly- timed riffs of the remarkably mellow eight-minute mini-epic 'In The Blue’, an expansive piece seemingly at odds with the bulk of the album’s rockier flavour….by…by stefro ….~

Credits 
Bass, Synthesizer [Arp], Vocals, Piano, Trombone – Jean-Pierre Houx 
Drums, Vibraphone, Flute – Georges Vanaise 
Engineer – Colin Bateman 
Guitar, Vocals – Bernard Callaert 
Lead Guitar, Vocals, Synthesizer [String Machine] – Jean Vanaise 
Organ [Hammond], Piano, Mellotron, Clavinet [Clavioline], Synthesizer [Arp, String Machine] – Christian Duponcheel

Tracklist 
A1 Introduction (Insects)
A2 Lucifer
A3 Leave Me With Tears
B1 Gone In The Wind
B2 In The Blue
B3 Crystal Ball


Dragon  "Kalahen / Plus" 1977
The second, a masterpiece album of an excellent Belgian team. In 1977, Dragon quietly dispersed. The most offensive is that they did not even have time to make a new name! After the breakup, the second album, called “Kalahen”, was released….~   

This intriguing album was released posthumously from tracks recorded at the practicing room. So the record appears more like a good demo released on vinyl than a fully produced album. I still think it’s a quite interesting piece of work, the recording method revealing the raw realities of the music creation instead of polished sonic contructions. I think the music is not very accessible though, due strange moods, contrasting changes and striking fuzziness. But there are great musical passages to be found from the songs, if one has the mood to listen the album through. There are lots of mellotrons, flutes and saxes on the instrumental basis, and some incoherent solutions create an interesting sense of surrealism, deepened by crayon colored fantasy sleeves. The B-side of the LP felt more interesting to me than the first one, being a home for two longer songs. “Red Light” starts the side with a beautiful, calm and lyrical piano movement, which transforms to a chaotic verse with heavily distorted guitars and screaming vocals. These two elements are tied together with mellotron and trumpet dominated parts, and they form a personal, weird and really menacing track. “Kalahen” runs for eighteen minutes, but is quite unbalanced for an epic symphonic piece. Still there are some really great musical moments on it, and the mixture felt to me like a psychedelic symphonic expressionism. The chaos seems to rise from strong, uncompromising notes of long duration, and the sounds to which they have been dressed on, not from quickly shifting directions on rhythmic levels like I felt occurring on Van Der Graaf Generator’s “Pawn Hearts”. If you are interested in rarer continental euro-prog, musical adventures are at your goal, or you should collect underground albums, then I would recommend this LP to you warmly….by Eetu Pellonpaa ….~

Credits 

Drums, Vibraphone, Flute – Georges Vanaise 
Lead Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Synthesizer [Strings Machine], Vocals, Composed By – Jean Vanaise 
Mellotron, Organ [Hammond], Clavinet [Clavoline], Piano, Flute, Saxophone – Christian Duponcheel 
Rhythm Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals – Bernard Callaert 
Synthesizer [Arp], Bass, Trombone, Trumpet, Vocals – Jean-Pierre Houx


Tracklist 
1 Children Are Playing Game 4:49 
2 Ballad 2:18 
3 America 6:59 
4 Les Hommes Bleus 8:27 
5 Red Light 6:04 
6 Kalahen 18:03 


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