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TRACK LIST: 1. Mingas 7:21 2. Goulash Electrique 10:19 3. La Promenade de Cleobule 4:27 4. La Bascule 4:14 5. Le Mal de Caderas 13:26 6. Les Soeurs Duvel 1:37 7. La Ligne Perdue 5:19 8. Faux Whammy 4:53 LINEUP: Marc Dosiere - trumpet, flugelhorn Jerome Rosele - sax, flute Jean-Louis Morais - guitars Olivier Verhaeghe - bass Charles Duytschaever - drums
Prolusion. French band OUTRE MESURE started out back in 1999. Following an initial demo a few years later the band released their debut album "Abacadaë" in 2009 through Musea Records imprint Great Winds. "La Ligne Perdue" is their second full length CD, and was released through French label Circum-Disc in 2015.
Analysis. Outre Mesure is among the bands that one might perhaps describe as residing more in the outskirts of the progressive rock universe. This isn't a band that has all that much in common with the more popular aspects of progressive rock as such, but they do incorporate quite a lot from both jazzrock and avant prog. The former is arguably more a case than the latter on this occasion, mostly due to the emphasis of the jazz aspects in their material. As many other related artists do, the band prefers to create instrumentals. The music as such suits the instrumental approach much better, and their chosen style focus a lot on individual instruments as well as tight interactions between multiple instruments. As such, this is rather demanding fare, probably just as challenging to perform as it is to enjoy for the listener. The compositions tends to feature a certain set of arrangements and a fairly similar path of development. Most of them tends to open in a fairly gentle manner, with wandering, plucked delicate guitar patterns as one ingredient and careful saxophone details, brass details or both in support, and more often than not the song will develop into a quirkier, more challenging and firm arrangement along the way. Brass rock details and interludes or sequences with more of a distinct jazz-oriented expression are common in most cuts, as are more challenging sections with more of a noise-tinged expression, chaotic soundscapes or passages with more of an improvised feel to them. Occasionally also with details that comes across as being rather close to free form in execution. A specialty of the band appears to be alternating between sections with more of a staccato arrangement and those with a more fluent, flowing mode of delivery. Technically these compositions appears to be of a rather high quality throughout, but the compositions themselves comes across as not quite as well developed for them to have a broad reach and wide general appeal. Interesting material, with some rather neat touched applied to the development of the compositions too, but ultimately rather more technical and not as much emotionally laden, at least in the way I experience this album. In sum a production with more of a narrowly defined target audience and limited appeal in my book: A great album for the target audience, but one that will not have much of an impact outside of it.
Conclusion. Those who tend to enjoy jazzrock bands that include avant details, improvised sequences and occasional lapses into free form territories should find this second album by Outre Mesure to be an interesting production to explore. Especially those among them that enjoys an expressive and jazz-oriented approach to this kind of music, as well as material that comes across as challenging and fairly demanding also from a technical point of view.
Progmessor: December 25th, 2017
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