Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Catherine Ribeiro + 2bis -same, LP, 1969, France ( NWW list!)

Catherine Ribeiro was born in 1939, the daughter of Portuguese immigrants. She starred in Jean Luc Godard's controversial film 'Les Carabiniers' aged 22, where she played a partisan. Here she met (and later married) guitarist and sound sculptor Patrice Moullet, the core member of the group they were to later form called Alpes. They released the first album Catherine Ribeiro + 2 Bis in 1969, but didn't use the name Alpes until the second album Nr.2. Her daughter Ioana was born sometime around 1971 and inspired many songs. Catherine is most well-known in France for her recording of Edith Piaf songs, but the music of Alpes under discussion here is much more revolutionary.
A review
I often say that the USA album is the greatest rock album made in the 60s, or that it's a toss-up between it and the VU + Nico album. Well, technically this album, more or less rock music I suppose we could say, was made in the 60s, and it makes the USA album seem like fluffy pop. I'm not saying that USA is at risk of losing its throne, but this a whole different breed of avant-rock royalty way off any scale we could construct. This is a holy grail of 20th century music. Never reissued, this needs to be heard by everyone even slightly interested in this aesthetic sphere.
It's misleading to call this rock music though, because rhythmically it doesn't use any conventional rock beats, and the percussion is used in a strikingly unusual way that gives a droney effect despite using a rapid stream of drum hits. That's drum, not drumkit. I don't think there's any drumkit used in this music. I suppose we could call this music "ecstatic psychedelic electric avant-folk music".
What's so amazing here is that the instrumental parts of the music are equally as idiosyncratic and startling as Ribeiro's bracing vocals. These people were from another planet. The avant-folk precursor to Magma.
Michael Anton Parker
IMHO just one of the 100 best records ever made!


  1. Whah!!!!!!


    Sorry, I did a dance. This is one of three top of my wishlist items. The version I have is SOOO poor. I can not thank you enough.

    You rule (period).

  2. Wow, this is great!!! Do you have any more Catherine Ribeiro?

  3. thanks for all the great french rareties!!

  4. Thanks so much for this and the next Ribeiro album [No. 2]. Thought I'd never get to hear these! I love her stuff to bits. Such an intense woman. I love it when a singer doesn't prevent the band from freaking out! I've played with singers who try to keep control over the instruments so that it's all about a platform for her singing... hate that! But Catherine Ribeiro is my kinda lady, she loves to freak out and does it with such awesome feeling and experimentalism.

  5. Catherine Ribeiro has been on my list for 15 years (trying to get anything this obscure in Australia has always been near impossible). I found copies of “Le Rat Débile” and “La Deboussole” on eBay a few years back and thought I'd heard her, but they're the faint fading echoes of THIS.

  6. merci...i discover so many incredible records within your blog...thanky you all

  7. wow this is a good one...thanks again mutant sounds

  8. I was wondering if anyone had anytime to host this on another site, because rapidshare doesn't ever work for me =/


  9. Ahhhhhh...prolly one of the best proper "Acid Folk" releases ever. Many thanks. You turn me on!


  10. Thanks very much!

  11. awesome post! i dig :-)

  12. If you should stumble upon this do not hesitate for a second. It is gorgeous.

    merci infiniment

  13. Brilliant album, never heard it before I grabbed it from here!
    many, many thx

  14. Amazing to come across your Catherine Ribeiro posts. Twenty-odd years ago a friend told me about a woman whose voice supposedly inspired Tim Buckley , Catherine something, Spanish or Portuguese. I'm sure he meant her, even though only her name is Portuguese and the timing is a bit tight for her to influence Starsailor or Lorca. But her voice is amazing, as is the music itself and the lyrics (as far my Frech stretches, anyway). Fantastic to hear, thank you. J