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(55:42, Musea Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Margaretha 1.41 2. Ulysse 5.03 3. Brynhild 1.27 4. Raymond 15.39 5. Grigori 1.42 6. Butch 10.40 7. Alexandra 1.03 8. Modestine 16.21 9. Laika 0.39 10. Jack 1.27 LINEUP: Arnaud M'Doihoma bass; vocals Gregory Pozzoli guitars; vocals Philippe Prebet guitars; vocals Thomas Larsen drums; vocals With: Robbie Boney harmonica Boston trumpet
Prolusion. The French band JACK DUPON was formed a few years after the millennium, and was ready with their first album in 2006. Since then they have been an active live and recording unit, with many concerts under their belts and some relatively prestigious ones at that too. A double live album and a grand total of four studio albums have been crafted by this quartet by now, and "Jesus l'Aventurier" from 2013 is the most recent of these, as usual released through Musea Records.
Analysis. Describing the music of Jack Dupon is a puzzle, has always been so and will most likely continue to be so in the foreseeable future too. This is band that appears to aim at breaking conventions and expectations on a general basis, and who go to quite the effort of maintaining something of an unpredictable nature. Most likely with a good few studio improvisations as a part of the whole here, although these guys could actually be zany enough to actually compose this material too. If the latter is the case, it should be fun witnessing any other musicians taking a look at the note sheets and trying to perform the music written there. A presumably priceless moment. The exploits of Jack Dupon appear to revolve around a tight and innovative rhythm section on one hand, with a drummer equally capable of supplying gentle complex details as intense and driving pounding patterns, and a bassist able to weave supplemental motifs that emphasize the rhythm aspect as well as adding a basic melodic touch. On the other hand we have two guitarists, one excelling in supplying riffs of a massive but compact nature just as much as supplying gentler details, while the other has an expertise in playful, unconventional light toned solo details and related effects of a non-conventional kind. This foursome is able and willing to combine these features into coherent excursions, and appears to be a tight band at this stage, able to experiment on the spur of the moment without loosing track of what's going on. On "Jesus L'Aventurier" they apply their talents to ten compositions, of which six are brief, experimental interludes, one is a relatively brief affair clocking in at the five minute mark, and the remaining three creations all clock in at epic length, those three compositions in total covering around 80% of the albums entire length. All of these longer efforts utilize hypnotic repetitive patterns with little or no changes combined with subtle alterations and developments as well as drastic but smooth alterations as the individual piece develops. Jazz-tinged themes, psychedelic dripping guitar details and atonal-oriented excursions aplenty, with sparse bass and guitar only sequences side by side with intense, driving movements sporting a circulating theme that opens as fairly melodic but ends up as a cross between Zappa, Gong and King Crimson in glorious atonal beauty. Unconventional is a keyword for instrumental escapades and vocals alike, the latter covered in a few snippets of regular singing, quite a lot of effects based vocals both from a singular lead singer as well as two or more members catering for vocal duties in whispered, talked or shouted manner. It is a case of expect the unexpected, just about the only predictable aspect of what's going on is that words like zany, wacky and unpretentious are never far away when listening to this delightfully crazy and adventurous journey. One presumably made with big grinning smiles from all members if I understand the mood and atmosphere of this one correctly.
Conclusion. Jack Dupon describes themselves as followers of music made in the spirit of RIO and an overall avant-garde approach. They have performed at the Zappanale for a reason, and one might toss in some Gong and King Crimson while at it I guess. Jack Dupon is arguably less predictable however, and undeniably more zany and wacky in their exploits. A band and an album for those who enjoy high quality music that arguably may be described as less conventional and predictable than the artists first mentioned in this conclusion.
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