The Eclectic Maybe Band is the vehicle of Guy Segers, that is, the bassist of renowned chamber rock group Univers Zero. Far from abandoning his past sonic sensibilities, Segers continues to lend his services to this unique category of music. We should relish this fact; for, Segers continues to be a pioneer. The musical milieus contained within Again Alors? range from sparse to suffocating, from pusillanimous to proud.
This album begins with "Disquiet." Initially, a series of synths combine to form a zephyr which emanates through the scant mix. Not wanting to keep to one form for too long, though, the track transmutes. A breathy, seemingly strained, hum coaxes a collection of woodwind passages out of their stupor. And, in celebration of their newfound vigor, these passages gyrate in and around quintessentially jazzy rhythms. Then, like some AA meeting, each instrument stands to provide a short blurb about itself. Again Alors? has made a compelling introduction.
In "Further On The Ladder," emaciated vocal lines cast a shadow over frenetic rhythmic epicycles. Although most of the individual parts of these polyrhythms are smudged such that they cannot be individuated, the peppy piano chords remain lucid. After this, some petulant strings wail somewhere in the distance. Maybe goaded by this, each of the track's minutiae begin to converge on the listener; instruments edge closer and closer, heckling and harrying as they do. This is a storm that must be braved.
Both "Tingling Skin"and "Voici Voila" have an acutely experimental flavor to them. The former consists of a supple piano that is juxtaposed against insurmountable walls of ambient fuzz. Somewhat differently, the latter begins with an atavistic saxophone indulging its most sordid thoughts. Yet, this rabid instrument does not remain unfettered for long; being sure to tread carefully around it, gentle rhythms soothe it incrementally. Throbbing, organ-like, swathes of sound signify the completion of this process of sonic eudaimonia.
"A Beast Trophy" begins with flittering scales that are redolent of bird song. This vivid sense of luster is propounded further through various jubilant arpeggios, all of which are constructed such that they perfectly intersect.
"Atomos Keyhole" is the closing track. Disparate vocal textures coalesce to the point that one doubts whether they are produced by a human voice. Demonic barks, prostrated moans, and angelic vibratos can all be heard here. Synths whistle and rustle in the background as they bear witness to these multiple textural metamorphoses.
Again Alors? is as good as it gets. Not only does this album successfully negotiate the amorphous genre that is chamber rock, but it is a damned good listen all the while. Very few, if any, albums can boast this accomplishment.
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