FORGAS BAND PHENOMENA

Fusion • France
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Patrick Forgas was 18 years old when he first heard the music that would change his life : the second Soft Machine album. He would spend the following years perfecting his drumming technique in several of the bands that flourished at the time, the early 70's. In 1975, he recorded a demo tape with Dominique Godin (keyboards and sax) and Didier Thibault (bass), but the latter, formerly of Moving Gelatine Plates (an excellent French band in the Canterbury vein, which recorded two acclaimed albums in 1970 and 1971), went on to form a new version of MGP, taking Godin with him, and leaving Patrick on his own.

Luckily, the tape caught the attention of the new-born Gratte-Ciel label, and in 1977 he recorded and released his first album Cocktail, with a cast of musicians which read like a who's who of the French progressive scene, with former and future members of
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FORGAS BAND PHENOMENA Discography

FORGAS BAND PHENOMENA albums / top albums

FORGAS BAND PHENOMENA Roue Libre album cover 3.50 | 2 ratings
Roue Libre
Fusion 1997
FORGAS BAND PHENOMENA Extra-Lucide album cover 3.50 | 2 ratings
Extra-Lucide
Fusion 1999
FORGAS BAND PHENOMENA L'axe du fou / Axis of Madness album cover 4.04 | 3 ratings
L'axe du fou / Axis of Madness
Fusion 2009
FORGAS BAND PHENOMENA Acte V album cover 3.96 | 4 ratings
Acte V
Fusion 2012
FORGAS BAND PHENOMENA L’Oreille Électrique (The Electric Ear) album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
L’Oreille Électrique (The Electric Ear)
Fusion 2018

FORGAS BAND PHENOMENA EPs & splits

FORGAS BAND PHENOMENA live albums

FORGAS BAND PHENOMENA Soleil 12 album cover 3.50 | 2 ratings
Soleil 12
Fusion 2005

FORGAS BAND PHENOMENA demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

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FORGAS BAND PHENOMENA Reviews

FORGAS BAND PHENOMENA Acte V

Album · 2012 · Fusion
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Sean Trane
As its title indicates, this is FBP's fifth album, and it comes with a sweet little treat in the form of a DVD live At Nearfest in '10. Still with the same septet line-up, this album is a logical musical continuity of L'Axe Du Fou and should disappoint absolutely no-one that knows anything of the band. We're dealing with a typically 90's & 00's gentle, yet complex, instrumental and progressive fusion, still all written by their leader and drummer Patrick Forgas. Through a rather delicate and strange conceptualization, this album represent the five acts of theatre dramaturge Raymond Russell's last play called Poussières De Soleil (I'd have preferred that for an album title) or something to that effect, despite the album's six tracks. The album's front artwork is a bit dull and messy (too much text), and Id rather have seen the more Hypgnosis-like artwork of the inner booklet getting the nod. The opening Corps Et Ames start rather slow, but soon goes rougher and wilder, with Violet's crunchy guitars in the forefront, before leaving the spotlight to Mlodecka's violin solo, and returning like a burning sun. Violet's fiery guitar attacks right out from the start Loin D'Issy (a "far away" play on word on a Paris suburb), but this leaves the other to shine for much longer. The lengthy George V track starts out rather softly, but goes wild in is second quarter, before resting softly by the halfway mark on Mlodecka's gentle violin (JL Ponty-like) and the song gently speeds and crescendos but doesn't really climax towards its end. One might have thought that the Ultraviolet track's title might have been a hint to their guitarist's glory, but he doesn't get the spotlight UV or IR until the middle section, but even then it won't become a sunstroke. While the following Feu Sacré certainly sees a lot of violin, the closing album-lengthiest Midi-Minuit recapitulates everything said on their fifth album, and could just be the ideal (and best-ever) musical résumé of the band's works so far.

As for the DVD, it's the full set played at the legendary festival and it features two then- unrecorded tracks from the present studio album - recorded nine months later and released over 18 months after the festival - including the opening Ultraviolet and the shorter Feu Sacré. From the previous then-fresh off-the-press album, we find the Axe Du Fou title track and the excellent Double Sens, while the rest of the set is from their Soleil 12 album or earlier. As always in a festival, the audience is largely made up of an eclectic crowd that's mainly present for Group X, Band Y or Orchestra Z, so the polite crowd reception is not always representative of the band's capacity to ignite a dedicated crowd. One can indeed fear that the mainly-symphonic crowds of the festival might have appreciated only moderately FBP's instrumental gentle modern fusion, and that by the end of the 70-mins set, they might've had their fill of it. In either case, I found the FBP's set a bit subdued (I'd seen them before, and that was wilder) and a bit too even, lacking big moments and emotions. The crowd culture maybe and the long transatlantic distance as well, but the set's Eclipse finale indeed managed to shake off the slow torpor that had set in.

Anyway, this is another impeccable Cuneiform release, on that comes with an outstanding bonus, that's become the label's specialty - see Miriodor's Cd+DVD, or the 70's UK fusion combined releases (Surman, Soft Mahine) of the last few years. To be honest, if you're to investigate FBP's work, Acte V has become the indisputable entry point, and if you're a confirmed fan, there is no way you ould possibly pass up to this one

FORGAS BAND PHENOMENA L'axe du fou / Axis of Madness

Album · 2009 · Fusion
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Sean Trane
Latest (so far, the fourth) album from Forgas' troupes, and maybe the best one yet, but it comes after a three or four year silence (Soleil 12 dates from 05) that had us worried. Actually, parts of the compositions were already written a while ago(the next album was originally scheduled in 06), but the line-up suffered a few changes (now a septet), then some tracks were re-written (trimmed down), more added and by the time all of this was dealt with, they were in the summer 08. Just four tracks, all penned by Patrick, packed in an uncompromising fluvial artwork

Opening on one of the older track La Clef that's been on the live repertoire quite while and it shows because the band is really tight on this track, Mlodecka's violin and Alexaline's trumpet on the forefront, the latter distilling a light Spanish ambiance throughout the album. The 16- mins+ title track is the album centrepiece, first as a piano-driven tune where Trognon alternate on sax and flute, then allowing everyone to have its moment in the sunshine. The other cornerstone on which the album is built is the trimmed-down 14-mins Double Sens, a piece that lost over 20 minutes of ideas, most likely to pop up on future albums. What's left is an impressive and tight composition, starting on a strong bass line, but later (the second half) featuring a grandiose exchange of brass, violin and guitar licks, lines and solos over a delightful electric piano. No doubt the album's highlight. The closing 13th Moon starts out as a smooth bass and electric piano-driven mid-tempo on which trumpet, flute and guitar and violin are gliding , but gradually speeds up, gets frantic, than manic ( love these short brass answers between solos and ending up in a wild guitar solo.

Not only is Forgas a brilliant drummer, he's also become an excellent composer (something he wasn't in the 90's), but he's also letting his mates plenty of room for them to express themselves musically. As good as Soleil 12 was, it easy to understand that the FBP has jumped another hurdle and reaches the category of the giant JR/F of the millennium. One of my album of the year

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