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Album Review

This is Pinhas' final recording, at least during his first prolific period from 1974-1982, and was followed by his long absence from music, simply because, as he explained it, he was burned out and "had no musical statement to make." As with previous Pinhas CDs, this one features Pinhas as composer, electronic keyboard artist and guitarist, with assistance on several tracks from Heldon band members. On the whole, this is a much more convincing effort than the immediately preceding East West. Pinhas has dispensed with the techno-pop vocals and gone back to the more familiar combinations of synthesizers and electric guitars, with several atmospheric pieces built around simple riffs ("L'Ethique," Parts 1-4, and "The Western Wail," Parts 1 and 2), plus several aggressive jazz-rock fusion numbers ("Dedicated to K.C.," "Belfast," Southbound" ) which feature solid rhythm sections plus Patrick Gauthier's mini-Moog and Pinhas' searing electric guitar work. "Southbound," which reunites the Heldon trio of Pinhas, Auger (drums) and Gauthier (mini-Moog/bass), is particularly fine and is a reminder of what a truly formidable band Heldon was. As a solo artist, though, Pinhas is typically less consistent. One thing confirmed by this CD is his rather limited gifts as a composer, as exemplified by the four separate versions of the title piece, which is really just a three-chord synth riff with some guitar improv over the top. One would be fine and even two would be OK, but four versions (plus two versions of another simple, riff-oriented composition, "The Western Wail") adds up to a program which, although very assured and enjoyable, could perhaps use a little more musical substance.


Born: May 7, 1951

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

French guitarist Richard Pinhas led the group Heldon from 1974-78, releasing seven albums with that group and six solo LPs, often featuring members of Heldon. Born in 1951, Pinhas earned a Ph.D. in philosophy at the Sorbonne and taught at that school. In 1972 he became a part of Schizo, a group whose music contained a great deal of electronics. After Schizo's demise, Pinhas formed Heldon, whose only constant was himself. Pinhas' solo work covered a lot of ground. His first solo LP, Rhizosphere, was...
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L'Ethique, Richard Pinhas
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