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Allez Teia

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Album Review

Inexplicably, Pinhas repudiated this reissue in a 1992 interview, along with its sequel, It's Always Rock 'n' Roll, as recordings that "did not stand time." Heldon was not yet a proper band at this stage, and had only Georges Grunblatt assisting Pinhas on mellotron, guitars and A.R.P. synthesizer. Perhaps Pinhas is embarrassed, in retrospect, at the recording's general lack of originality. Overt homage is paid to influences, with a song titled "In the Wake of King Fripp" (named after King Crimson's second release, In the Wake of Poseidon). Another piece on the CD is dedicated to Fripp & Eno. The relationship with Fripp & Eno's two collaborations, No Pussyfooting and Evening Star, is indeed pronounced on several tracks, but since this was a sound that neither Eno nor Fripp stuck with for very long, further elaborations of it are always welcome. One curious aspect of this recording (and perhaps another source of discomfort for Pinhas in retrospect) is that a visual attempt has been made to affiliate Pinhas and/or his music with angry young student radicals (the cover has a photo of a club-wielding policeman chasing a young protestor), but the music itself is not in the least bit angry or violent. Pinhas even plays acoustic guitar on several tracks, and adds a mellotron string section on several others, creating a sound which is almost incipient new age. However, several other pieces such as "Fluence," with its minor keys and abstract, watery drones, and the following piece, "St. Mikael Samstag Am Abends," have more substantial elements of darkness or mystery. There are worse things than an album which sounds in part like Fripp & Eno circa Evening Star, and Pinhas' retrospective judgment of this recording is much too harsh.


Formed: 1974

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s

Led by guitarist Richard Pinhas, the French group Heldon released seven groundbreaking albums, melding electronic and rock forms, from 1974 to 1978. Pinhas also recorded six albums under his own name. Pinhas was heavily influenced by Robert Fripp; this shows in his guitar playing, and in the titles of several of his compositions. While early LPs sometimes evoked the sound of Fripp and Eno, Heldon evolved in its own direction. The release of Heldon IV: Agneta Nilsson saw the group heading toward a...
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