Rhn - Fanfare Du Chaos

(CD 2013, 41:28, AltrOck Productions ALT 034)

The tracks:
  1- Toz(09:25)
  2- Intermud(02:59)
  3- Dunb(08:57)
  4- Bmlo(05:34)
  5- Mlez(06:16)
  6- h(08:18)

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Rhn are a band from Normandy, France founded in 2000. They call their music 'garage zeuhl'. In 2008 they recorded the five-track demo Bhnus for the Baboon Fish label and in December 2012 an EP called h was launched through their band camp website. Now in 2013 Rhn made their official debut with Fanfare Du Chaos, a six-track album of which the first three songs are taken from h, but this time these pieces have been recorded by the current line-up of the group. The other three pieces are taken from the Bhnus demo and were recorded by an earlier formation.

People who listen to the music on Fanfare Du Chaos for the first time have probably no idea what to think of it. I even guess that some of them won't wait until the final track has been finished, because this'garage zeuhl' isn't the average progressive rock most prog heads like to listen to. It's a combination of musical styles which principally features music from genres like avant-garde, Canterbury scene, zeuhl, jazz, rock in opposition (RIO) and (kraut)rock, mainly performed on instruments like the saxophone, bassoon, horn, piccolo, clarinet and flute, although vocals, bass guitars, drums and electric guitars are featured as well.

While listening to Fanfare Du Chaos I noticed that it's not easy to compare them to other bands. I guess they come closest to the French band Magma. Other names that crossed my mind were Frank Zappa, Soft Machine and King Crimson. They all have the same kind of dynamic, intense sound and fascinating atmosphere as Rhn have created on their debut.

Although I don't regard the music on Fanfare Du Chaos as my favourite kind of music this doesn't mean that Rhn delivered a weak album. I really believe that people who like a blend of the aforementioned styles will love this album. Therefore I would like to advise people who own albums of  Magma, Frank Zappa, Soft Machine and King Crimson to give this record a try.

*** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)

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