Thursday, March 19, 2009
Henri Roger, IMAGES...
Pôle, 1975; reissued by Tapioca; out of print
4 tracks, 47:53
Ah, Pôle Records! I can never get enough of them! This stunner by Henri Roger (his only album for the label) continues in the grand Pôle tradition; hell, the word "Pôle" is rght there on the cover, larger than artist or album title! IMAGES... has a very unique setup. Roger fills side one with the twenty-two minute title track. This is a piece for electric organ, and Roger manages to get some truly impressive sounds and patterns out of his Yamaha. Never staying in one pattern for too long, and never overstaying its welcome, this track alone qualifies this as a masterpiece. Side two opens with "Au Dela Du Langage", for Mini Korg and Elka Rhapsody synthesizers. This nifty composition has a much funkier sound, until it becomes a strange ambient piece midway. Up next is "Ataraxie" for acoustic guitar (there's also either a tambourine or maracas in there). Standing out from the surrounding electronic experimentation, this is a nice little folky piece, constantly developing and providing a nice calm mood. Finally, IMAGES... ends with "Asyle Cosmique", the other obvious highlight. Over ten minutes, Roger layers synths, organ, and guitar to provide a track that effortlessly goes from classic Pôle-style cosmic synthscapes to neo-classical moods to a driving rock finale. At several points, this predicts and betters many later bands and movements; you could say this was a bootleg Tortoise recording and nobody would question you, except Tortoise NEVER sounded this good. IMAGES... is yet another high point in the Pôle catalog, and a must for fans of early electronic music. Unfortunately, as with most Pôle releases, this has been long out of print and is in dire need of a reissue. Henri Roger went on to make more music, all of which is well worth investigating, but IMAGES... remains his masterpiece.