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Espaces Baroques

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Album Review

While many electronic artist pay lip service to jazz and world music, Parisian DJ Frederic Galliano made good with the promise behind his Afro-jazz debut album, Espaces Baroques. Much like fellow French artist St. Germain, Galliano choose to work with live jazz musicians, recruiting brothers Stephane Belmondo and Lionel Belmondo to supply tenor sax and bugle to his elaborate sample based African compositions. To further aid in the live aspirations of the album, acoustician Louis 2000 was brought in to aid in the recording, giving Espaces Baroques a natural feel unmatched in electronic music. The album centers on the 23-minute "Nomades Monades," a daunting piece that tends to meander despite occasional flourishes of brilliance, usually in the more synthetic passages. The true strengths of this album come earlier on with "Plis Infinis No1" and "Plis Infinis No3," which are propelled by the inventive use of sleigh bell and "hooting" samples respectively. There is also the scratched vinyl melancholy of "Multples Un'," which uses a lone repeating piano phase to great effect. Although Galliano never reaches the genius intercontinental fusion he so clearly wishes to achieve (one would do better to look towards originators Miles Davis or Fela Kuti), Espaces Baroques is one of the most accomplished Afro-jazz works to come out of the electronic music genre.


Born: 23 December 1969 in Grenoble, France

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s

b. 23 December 1969, Grenoble, France. The DJ, producer and remixer Galliano blends West African roots sounds with the styles of contemporary dance music. He played drums and keyboards in a jazz group for three years and then started to work as a DJ. He first heard African music listening to late night shows on French State radio and was drawn to the rootsy, traditional style of artists such as Oumou Sangaré. Galliano initially began remixing African music in order to supply himself with modern dance-friendly...
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Espaces Baroques, Frederic Galliano
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