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La Mort D’orion
CD $17.25


WPC6 8507 CD 

***GERARD MANSET, a self proclaimed "lifelong rebel and eternal failure," released his debut album in May of '68, just as the students were manning the ramparts. But it wasn't until La Mort D'orion was released in 1970 that he really entered the public consciousness. The record is a thrillingly ambitious concept album of orchestral psych for which the self-taught Manset wrote all the music, lyrics, and arrangements. The title track runs nearly 25 minutes long, with an epic sweep that seems to encompass and distill all the finest French modernism has to offer, from Mallarme and Nerval in its literary pretensions to the sonic advancements in studio sound pioneered by the likes of Pierre Schaffer and Pierre Henry. Moments of seemingly normal French chanson give way to subtle and psychologically disorienting manipulations of orchestral trappings the results are very dark, very beautiful, and quite unlike anything you'd expect from French popular music. Creepy in some parts, at others "serious" psychedelic/avant prog, with abundant dark orchestrated atmospheres. A masterpiece! Hefty booklet (20 pages) contains biographical information, and lyrics.