Philosophie Fantasmagorique is Berger Rond's most rock based, and most progrock based, work yet…if, that is, those modes can really be credited, and I suspect they can't, not without a little Guantanamo Bay styled torture. Neither of the genres show up for more than episodically quick bites to eat and then duck back out again, but the inclusions are notable for how their lingering effects echo down the song list. Not credited anywhere, Marco Oppedisano (here) nonetheless appears to be a participant in this conflagration, as Je M'imaginais carries an electric guitar conforming to his skillful vocabulary, and the whole release is akin to the Le Savant Devait Arriver issuance.
Philosophie is also the most balletic of all Berger Rond's mash-ups, something few—perhaps Twyla Tharp or Merce Cunningham—could get their teeth into unless inspired to a Valhallan fare-thee-well. The imprint of German Expressionism is just as heavy, a three-penny gloom and Weimar aristocracy-under-water vibe enameled with Art Deco-dance. Still, though there's a distinctly French base to everything, the sort of adventurousness that was seen in the 70s with Ange, Hydravion, and others (here immensely more idiosyncratic and loopy, not to mention immisced with that Euro-dition so familiar to the rest of the globe), Philosophie rises above tradition to both mock and apotheosize it.
I advise even the most daring not to drop acid while venturing into the warp zone of Berger Rond's work, as exploded heads and melted nerves still haven't found much in the way of remedies in the AMA's playbook. In the same manner, neither do I recommend over-consumption of caffeine. It's 100% unnecessary for this music and may lead to a condition that even Marcus Welby, Dr. Jekyll, or Gregory House would be unable to diagnose. The disc is, however, perfectly suited for howling at the moon, attempts to walk on water, and unceasing torrents of inspired Beefheartian babblalia. Swedenborg would be struck dumb and Blake would attribute the affair to mad angels and overeducated demons. You, however, may get a leg over on them, resting assured that this is classicalism recapturing a neo- era that still has not ended and is, by evidences here abundantly enshrined, getting its second breath.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2011, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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