Thursday, February 1, 2007

Potemkine - Nicolas II (1978) + Foetus (1976), LPs, France


In 1971, in Toulouse, SouthWest France, Charles and Gilles GOUBIN, two brothers and music fans, decided to form a band. They started out playing covers of rock standards of the time, numbers from the Rolling Stones, Deep Purple, etcΙ
In 1973, they discovered jazz rock, particularly the MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA, WEATHER REPORT and Miles DAVIS. This discovery laid the ground for their future compositions. They chose the name POTEMKINE for the strength and power it evokes, as well as for its phonetic qualities and Koba•an overtones (at the time, the band attended many Magma concerts). As early as 1974, they recorded a self-produced single : "MYSTORE/RICTUS". Charles and Gilles had then been joined by a third brother, Michel, along with Maurice BATAILLE and Xavier VIDAL. In October 1975, the fourth brother, Philippe, joined on drums and Dominique DUBUISSON on bass. POTEMKINE released "FOETUS", its first LP, another self-production distributed on the Pole label. Touring began in the wake of the LP, first in small suburban venues, but they soon found themselves playing bigger audiences thanks to their growing success and to TARTEMPION, a non-profit organization putting up concerts.
For the second LP, POTEMKINE, now turned into a trio, decided to push their musical quest further and to fuse jazz rock with early 20th century contemporary music which had by then become one of their major influences (VARESE, SATIE, DEBUSSY) The result of those sonic experiments, the LP "TRITON", was released in 1977. The title of the LP comes from the musical chord of the same name which in the Middle Ages was considered as the musical work of the devil (during the Spanish Inquisition, musicians were even burned at the stake for having played that particular chordΙ ). The chord was only reintroduced in Western music at the beginning of the 20th century, in particular by STRAVINSKY and BARTOK.
After the recording of "TRITON", a network of bands started to form, with ART ZOYD and MOSAIK in Northern France and ETRON FOU LELOUBLAN in the South, each band organizing concerts for the others. Touring increased, with POTEMKINE playing as many as 100 gigs in one year and opening for MAGMA on several occasions. On stage, the band would fuse the music from "TRITON" with high-energy improvised passages set in a more rock-oriented structure. As this was going down very well with audiences, POTEMKINE decided to explore that direction further. In January 1978, this new orientation was confirmed by the recording of the LP "NICOLAS II", where POTEMKINE developed a high-class, energy-driven European jazz rock recorded in the spirit of a live act. The band was then composed of the three brothers, Charles, Michel and Philippe, and Doudou DUBUISSON. August of the same year saw them opening for SHAKTI, an evening culminating with John Mc LAUGHLIN's warm congratulations at the end of their set. Touring continued with ever-growing success until 1979, the year when Charles GOUBIN died in a road accident on June 11th.
POTEMKINE resumed touring though, and in August played a memorable concert in front of a crowd of 8000 in Bilbao, Spain, with Pierre BENICHOU on guitar and Gilles GOUBIN on cello. The band then had a break, touring having become more difficult with the times. In 1980, Gilles and Michel GOUBIN decided to turn professional and constitute the central unit of POTEMKINE as a quartet with Remy SARRAZIN on bass and Jean-Marc BELKADI on guitar. That line-up went on for a little over a year and disappeared in 1982 without having ever recorded.
POTEMKINE - FOETUS (1976, POLE 0010, LP)Face A1. FOETUS (5'30)
2. ZED (5'30)
4. BALLADE (7')
Face B1. HYMNE (2')
2. LOOLITT (4')
3. CEDILLE (5')
4. LAURE (5')
5. CYCLES (2'15)
MembersCharles GOUBIN
Guitares electrique et Acoustique, Vocal
Xavier VIDAL
Piano, Fender Piano, Vocal
Basse, Contrebasse
Philippe GOUBIN
Batterie, Percussions
MembersCharles GOUBIN
Guitares, Cloches, Triangle, Vocal
Fender Rhodes,Oberheim Polyphonic, Yamaha Grand Piano, Moog, Vocal
Philippe GOUBIN
Batterie, Tambourin, Papier "Voyard" Wood Blocks, Vocal
Fender Bass, Flexatone, Claves, Vocal
Christian ROUGE
Kakou (instr.trad.african), darboukass
Jean Jacques GANGHOFER
Cloches de l'Aveyron, Grelots et Carillon Chinois


musicgnome said...

You have completely reversed my perception of French Music.

Anonymous said...

You have completely reversed my perception of French Music.

Well, is that a *good* thing? LOL. Do tell!

tape said...

re pole: Excellent as always!, cheers!

musicgnome said...

Reply to Potemkine Commentary:

"Well, is that a *good* thing? LOL. Do tell!"

Sorry, for that comment. As (in retrospect) it could be seen as a jab.

What I should have said was, I had never thought of France as a "major player" in regards to avant/explorative music. And, I am ignorant of the role France play in regards to progression of "pop" music.

But, in regards to my former perception, after taking a step back - and looking at the vast number of items shared here...the number of items on the NWW List...and doing a little more research, I began noting a number of styles spawned from France (Musique Concrète is one - albeit obvious - example).

In short, I have begun to see France as being at the forefront of musical innovation. A notion which had not occurred until visiting the Mutant Sounds Blog.

Once again, my apologies, if my previous comment was taken poorly.

Anonymous said...

Thanks very much,I was looking
for them.In your comments,it was
said that John mc Laughlin had
them in high esteem and he's
one of my heroes in music so it
must be terrific

ganietzsche said...

thanks for the excellent post... i think the "foetus" rip is missing the tracks "zed" and "loolitt"?

Anonymous said...

sadly ,the "foetus" rip *IS* missing the tracks "zed" and "loolitt"

Their best LP , IMO, was "Foetus"


It`s NICE to see someone come to the realization that the French scene is THEE TOPS, ...Besting the rest, incl Germanys`s krautrock


Shakespeare said...

The Foetus rip isn't missing Zed and Loolitt, because it isn't a Foetus rip at all - those are just the bonus tracks from the most recent version of Nicolass II!

Anonymous said...

thanx from urkenny

al66 said...

Mediafire link for Foetus:

Mediafire link for Nicolas II:

Despite the fact that I've split these into two downloads they are the same rips that were shared on here before, so this is the CD reissue of Nicolas II with most of Foetus tacked on. The two missing tracks from Foetus - along with two other bounus tracks - were included on the CD reissue of their second album, Triton, which I've uploaded here:

If you like the other two, then grab this as well, as Triton is IMO as good, if not better.

vdoandsound said...

al66-You are a completely awesome human being for putting up all these mirrored links day after day!

al66 said...

Hi Eric

No problem at all - as I'd already helped you with providing some of these files for re-ups in the first place, I thought it would be the least I could do to add some mirrors as well. If time and space allow, I'll be adding a few more yet.