Album Review

Philippe Besombes “Libra” [MIO Records] (cd)

cujo   7/13/2005   A Library, CD

In 2004 Israeli treasure-hunters MIO re-released this 1974 soundtrack to the otherwise silent and obscure French avant-film Libra. You may know Besombes from his later efforts with P’le and Hydravion or from his inclusion on Nurse With Wound’s infamous list of influences (I didn’t), but this album made when he was 24 is surely his crowning achievement. The 20 short tracks left me salivating for more of this helter-skelter mix of spaced-out physics lab experiments, nearly unintelligible vocal babblings, driving blues, ambient Delta sitar, and pieces verging on folk and prog rock. You will find something interesting on here. Preview your track b/c cold finishes and cold starts still track together. Beware the 4 somewhat inferior tracks not composed by Besombes. And if all this wasn’t enough, MIO includes a bonus track of a well-constructed 20-minute meditation by Besombes on prepared piano.
Cujo, July 2005

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