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Ame Son iTunes Tracks

Ame Son


The group date back to 1965 as Les Primitivs, a YARDBIRDS influenced group. By the time they’d released their first album CATALYSE (1970) {*6}, the line-up had settled down to Bernard Lavialle (guitar), François Garrel (flute), Patrick Fontaine (bass) and Marc Blanc (drums). The album in question was quite an eccentric record in many ways and it was no surprise to learn that DAEVID ALLEN was around the group at one time. Indeed in 1968/69, Blanc and Fontaine played in a group called Bananamoon, after Allen had departed from SOFT MACHINE.
The immediate reference point for the music was indeed GONG (plus avant-jazz), and overall it was a curious, slightly chaotic amalgam of psych rock and occasional blues and jazz excursions recalling The DOORS in odd moments. It was certainly well worth checking out for its free spirited, experimental approach. The music was sung mostly in French and was delineated by meandering, elemental guitar, bizarre flute (that had its more pastoral moments) and a determined rhythm section driving it through a repertoire of six longish pieces.
Nearly thirty years later a CD was released (and subsequently re-released on vinyl on Wah-Wah with bonus 7” and poster). This was appropriately entitled “Primitive Expression” (1998) and was an uneasy hybrid of old Les Primitivs songs, solo Marc Blanc demos on Revox where he played all the instruments (very percussive as you might expect, using glissando guitar and found sounds), unreleased material from the early days and rehearsals for Paris concerts in 1995. However, despite the epochal variations there was enough creativity to view this as an advance on their first album and a real treasure trove in many ways as it showed a more progressive side to the group. ’Le grand cirque de la lune’, an unused piece of film music, was of particular note with François Garrel excelling on flute and some great drumming from Blanc.
AME SON re-formed in 2014; Romeo Blanc replaced Fontaine, however only a self-financed single, `Black Trees’ (b/w `Your Skin) made it to press.
While AME SON was one of the first French groups to break away from conventional rock’n’roll and pop structures, their short recording career mean they remain an obscure but pertinent reminder of what a musically adventurous place the world was in the late sixties and early seventies.
© MC Strong/MCS/PJ/Phil Jackson 2017-Nov2019

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