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  • Archives
     

    Le Travo – “Erring and Errant” – [Dark Entries]

    Vita Noctis remains my favorite 80’s Belgium delight revived
    by the excellent Dark Entries label, but this Le Travo reish
    from ’84/’85 sure gives it a run for its francs. The liner
    notes read, “Le Travo is the brainchild of singer-songwriter
    Patrick Bollen.” Or is it vice-versa? Or perhaps Bollen is
    the loinchild of Le Travo? Hey the album comes with a blue
    smoldering poster of a young Bollen, and on the back side
    of that lyrics that work the “Hips” (a great track) and
    leave a “taste of sweat in my mouth” (from “Caterwaul”).
    The lyrics sung in English have an awkward lilt and often
    delivered in a direct duotone, up then down then up
    patter. But the lyrics are a mix of clinical and physical
    while the album also combines much of the trademark
    isolated synth sounds that Dark Entries has unearthed
    but some guitar with plenty of frisson (especially on
    side B where Jan van Winckle rips!). Each side also ends
    with slow, introspective retro-futuro instrumentals. Some
    wordless vox arc over the bass plod and keyboard shimmer
    on “E La Nave Va” while “Amarcord” feels like it could
    play with David Bowie’s “Low.” Both pieces completely
    solo efforts by Bollen, important in letting us see that
    he was not just some propped-up pretty boy, evidently he
    was in his late teens when these first came out, surrounded
    by talented studio players and slick producers (Revolting
    Cock Luc van Acker and Dirk Blancart helped on some cuts).
    Pretty amazing one-off work, apparently Bollen never
    recorded anything else (yet?) but he might have studied
    ’round here at USF. Le Travo works in many ways.

    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on March 5, 2014 at 6:28 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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