Boul?, Christian - Non-Fiction

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Musea
Catalog Number: FGBG 4350.AR
Format: CD
Total Time: 43:04:00

Guitarist Christian Boule has been called the "pope of glissando guitar" (at least by Musea) and whether that's true or not, I don't know. He was a lightening quick guitarist, playing runs with gleeful abandon. He has played with Steve Hillage (Gong), with Gilbert Altman in Lard Free, and with both men as members of Clearlight. Another Clearlight alumnus, Tim Blake, contributes keyboards on one track. I was expecting Boule's second album, Non-Fiction (Polydor, 1979 (2393 227)) to be a guitar based rock album of some sort, maybe even something with a jazz leaning. Is that what we get?

Yes and no. Yes, as "Psychedelik" fits right in with what I was expecting, Boule's guitar front and center playing beautiful and expressive leads, giving way only to subdued but fiery organ solo by Jean-Phillipe Rykiel. This piece is an air-guitarist's delight. The tonality of Boule's guitar, slightly distorted, is what makes the title almost apt. "Glissader Aquarian" is a watery, smooth jazz-like piece right down to the soprano sax of Thirault, some flute-like keyboard passages from Rykiel. It is light and airy, without being lightweight. Patrice Conjas's fat bass is out front for the initially subtle "Viva Da New Sound" just ahead of Jacky Bouladoux's drums and percussion. This 8-minute plus piece moves through a variety of tempos, so this quickly changes to a funkier, slinky rhythm, with some meaty guitar from Boule. A variety of voices sing the lyrics; as the liner notes state, "It involves something like ten languages, for world-music before its era!" More terrific lead guitar work here, too, in this ultimately satisfying track.

Ah, but it's also not what I expected. "Viva Da New Sound" bridges the two, as there is a slightly popish section. Popish describes the other tracks, too. The jumping, bluesy number "Non-Fiction" opens the album and the funky "Chance," which does have a jazzy feel to it, including Jean-Pierre Thirault on sax, are quite different beasts. The female vocals on "Chance" seem lifted straight out of 60's pop, a la Lesley Gore, Nancy Sinatra, Angels, etc. "Magic Fanfare" is a bouncy, popish tune, with more vocals from Andy Slatin, who isn't a bad singer at all. So while it's all very popish, it's not unbearable. I like "L.I.F.E." which put a run-on sentence in my mind: "Flower Kings fronted by a female singer - Landmarq if Tracy Hitchings were a better vocalist - no that's not quite right but close to that."

There are two bonus tracks that were recorded in 1999, "Synthetic Lover" and "City Clone," the latter of which might be described as techno - take Tangerine Dream, Steve Roach, lots of acid, and the 80's view of a cyber future (e.g. Max Headroom) and, well, blend them together into puree. Parts of me like it, but I think over time I will find it annoying, tiring. At least it's the last track. "Synthetic Lover," which precedes it is a shimmery, sliding guitar piece where Boule creats sheets of sound that rain down, drenching you blissfully in its sound. It's for this, tracks 3, 5, 6, and 7 that I'd recommend this album.

Boul? passed away in 2002

[Note: the times listed on the album's sleeve are not entirely accurate; the actual timings are included in the info below.]

Non-Fiction (4:08) / Chance (4:19) / Psychedelik (4:24) / Magic Fanfare (5:02) / L.I.F.E. (3:51) / Glissander Aquarian (4:06) / Viva De New Sound (8:50) / Synthetic Lover (4:51) / City Clone (4:53)

Christian Boul? - guitar, keyboards, and vocals
Andy Slatin - vocals (1-7)
Patrice Conjas - bass (1-7)
Jacky Bouladoux - drums and percussion
Jean-Phillipe Rykiel - keyboards (1-7)
Jean-Pierre Thirault - saxophone (1-7)
G?rard Amsellem - saxophone (4)
Xavier Baulleret - guitar (7)
Yves Lannes - keyboards (7)
G?raldine Andre - voices
Tim Blake - keyboards (8)
Charlie Doll - drums (8)
Diane Kone - bass (8)

Clearlight - Symphony (1975)
Photo Muzik (1977/2000)
Steve Hillage - Live Herald (1979)
Non-Fiction (1979/2002)
Cyrille Verdeaux - Rhapsody for The Blue Planet (1988)

Genre: Various Genres

Origin FR

Added: June 1st 2003
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 918
Language: english


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