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(60:00 DVD, Musea Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Margaretha 3:20 2. Ulysse 4:36 3. Raymond 15:03 4. Miaou 0:41 5. Butch 10:22 6. Modestine 18:43 LINEUP: Arnaud M'Doihoma bass; vocals Gregory Pozzoli guitars; vocals Philippe Prebet guitars; vocals Thomas Larsen drums; vocals
Prolusion. The French band JACK DUPON has been an active live and recording unit for more than a decade, with four studio albums and two live CDs to their name so far. They have more than 200 concerts under their belt, and at least in progressive rock terms this does make them a fairly experienced band in that particular context. "Les Ronfleurs Dorment" is their first DVD, and was released by Musea Records in 2014.
Analysis. This DVD production is a live concert performance. From what I can understand, this is a companion release to their recent live CD "Tete de Chien", and presumably it is the audio from this performance that is used for the CD version as well. There's a bit more to this live DVD than merely adding moving pictures to the music, and while the additional features aren't all that many, adding only a few minutes of playing length, they are worth taking note of. To take the various elements I tend to focus on in order, I'll begin by praising the sound quality. Modern technology makes it relatively easy to capture a live performance in high quality, and from what I can hear this task has been handled very well indeed on this production. The sound quality is very good, and while I cant really tell if this is a raw audio capture or if it has been given a studio treatment afterwards, those primarily interested in the music should find their demands catered for quite nicely in that department. As far as the video footage is concerned, it is obvious that the band has worked with a limited budget. Those who expect the same video quality and editing wizardry from this concert performance as by any more mainstream oriented band will be disappointed. But when that is said, this is still an excellent capture of this concert. From the looks of it several cameramen have been employed, I suspect with a mix of handheld and positioned cameras, so that we're treated to multiple angles, close-up shots of the individual band members and full stage shots. The variety of angles is explored superbly when the video footage has been assembled, with a nifty and effective fluent motion that does make the concert come to life in a nice way. Again, due to modern technology the quality is on par with large budget releases from a couple of decades ago, with sharp images of good quality throughout. The presumably limited budget mainly shows in how rich the colors are, that stage lights will bleed a bit into the images and generally that the quality is merely good rather than excellent. The editing is so well done that much of this won't even be noticed however, unless you specifically look for it. I'll also note that the stage setting itself, kind of like a freaky living room, and the stage outfits of the band members, add a ton of personality to this live performance. Even if you have seen hundreds of live performances on DVD before (and/or attended the same amount of concerts), seeing these guys play in this particular setting will cause a few raised eyebrows. The easiest manner in which to describe this is original. That the drummer wears a red and white striped pajamas looking one-piece is probably the most conventional aspect of this totality. Which brings me over to the additional features included on this DVD. There are two sets of those. One of them is short sequences of stop motion clay movies replacing the footage of the band performing, usually lasting for around 30 seconds or so for each of them and generally placed towards the end of a song. They are fun to watch, and add an additional dimension of variety to this concert performance. The second detail that merits a mention is short movies that are featured in between songs. The content is fairly indescribable, but if you describe them as dream or perhaps nightmare inspired video montages with drawn effects applied to emphasize certain associations you may get the general idea. Mainly starring the members of the band. A slight drawback is the length of this DVD and the material chosen for it. Clocking it at one hour and solely featuring material from their latest album, there may be some fans who would desire older material as well, and perhaps also a longer DVD in general. Still, it is the only one out there and it is a good quality production on just about all levels, and for a band exploring this brand of avant progressive rock I find it applaudable that they chose to make the investment to make this DVD in the first place. I just hope for their sake that they'll manage to recoup that investment.
Conclusion. If Jack Dupon will ever be able to make another DVD I don't know, but if this is to be their sole legacy in that department this is a production they can be proud of. Excellent sound quality capturing a good performance, an intriguing and original stage setting, fun and thoughtful art-oriented material flavoring the total experience and good quality video footage edited and assembled in an intriguing, captivating manner that does make this concert come to life in a good manner. If you like this band and enjoy live DVDs this production is well worth acquiring, and this is also a good option to choose if you want to become more familiar with the music of this excellent French avant-garde progressive rock band.
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