(All Album Reviews by jlneudorf)
Camembert are a progressive jazz/fusion band from Strasbourg, France. Schnörgl Attahk is the band’s first album and is quite an accomplishment especially when considering this is their debut release.
There are no fewer than nine band members so as you can imagine listening to Camembert’s music is quite an interesting and complex ride. I hear elements of Frank Zappa, Gentle Giant, King Crimson and Henry Cow. This album may take some time ‘to get’ but it will be well worth it in the end and there are some fine melodies spread throughout.
First a little about the concept. An alien invasion of the planet Earth has commenced led by a race of beings known as the Schnörgls and their evil leader Dr. Frankenschnörgl. They are soon followed by a massive starship made of ‘intergalactic cheese’. The Clacosmique, as the ship is called, creates a panic amongst Earth’s people. The booklet describes the story in detail which is a lot of fun to read. The humour is pure camp and tongue and cheek and the band does not take themselves too seriously. I found it to be quite refreshing. The music on the other hand is another story as the band boasts some serious musicianship.
Some of my favourites include the infectious but quirky “Untung Untungan 2.0” with its musical build ups and intricate mixing of jazz and prog and the intriguing “Le Meurtrier Volant” where the band goes from light to heavy with melodic guitar work, ambient soundscapes and crunchy guitar riffs.
Other notables include the funky “El Ruotuav Ed Sram” and the album ending “La Danse Du Chameau”, a five part suite where trippy and psychedelic lead guitar, changing tempos and interesting rhythmic patterns show the band at its progressive best. The music is both gentle and chaotic blurring the line between composition and improvisation.
Schnörgl Attahk is an excellent debut from a band that has a very bright future indeed. Highly recommended!