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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Georges Grunblatt, France

Georges Grunblatt - K-Priss. 1980 Polydor Ramses.

"A little late with this one aren't you Tom?" my loyal readers must be asking.

Today's posting started a few weeks ago with a conversation with SF, one of the CDRWL's more knowledgeable readers and generous patrons. He said he was going to send it to me.

"It's already in the main list, SF."
"Don't see it Tom."

(OK.... jeez, why can't... why can't he see it? It's.... it's.... it's... not there)

"What an oversight! Thanks for letting me know, SF. I have it on cassette. I sold the LP years ago and dubbed it."

(Goes through cassette drawer. Not there. Nice. My delusions of being an archivist at the Smithsonian would seem to be in jeopardy.)

"Uhhh, SF.... uhhh - can you send me the Grunblatt album?" Tom asks humbly, shying his eyes away from the target.

So how does this happen? Well in the FAQ I state that the CDRWL started as a real "wish list". Now that it's this sprawling mess of obscurities, with no end in sight, certain albums fell by the wayside. The bottom line is I didn't care much for the album when I owned it. Even wrote a mediocre review on Gnosis about it. I just asked Dirk to remove it, as it doesn't represent my current view of the album. And with that background, it wasn't a "wish" back in 2003. And I never bothered to add it back in. Of course, not keeping a copy for myself may have played a role in that...

Grunblatt was an early runnin' buddy of one Richard Pinhas, and basically represented one half of Heldon on the first 3 albums. On K-Priss, he gathers all of Heldon's alumni, for what would appear to be Heldon VIII. I think it was sold to me like that, and of course I was sorely disappointed. Managing expectations is the primary source to folks hating albums. They'll spend beaucoup dollars, and if it doesn't justify the expense, then it just sucks. No middle ground, dammit, because I just laid out some serious jack. Keep that in mind when you see someone railing against an album you might like. You never know the circumstances behind the listener.

Though I never thought "K-Priss" was terrible, I just didn't feel like it was worth keeping. In reviewing the album now, I wouldn't sell it if I still owned it. I do see quite a bit of value. It's not Heldon, but definitely a hybrid of late 70s French synthesized slickness and rip-roaring guitar rave-ups from Richard Pinhas and pounding drums from Auger. Like a more energetic Ose, if that makes sense.

My old DFW area pal Eric says this on Mutant Sounds: "Grunblatt was a member of Heldon in their earlier days and here on his 1980 solo, he's helped out by the entirety of Heldon's late model line-up (albeit not always at the same time), meaning, Pinhas, Patrick Gauthier and Heldon's ace rhythm section of Francois Auger and Didier Batard as well as Weidorje guitarist Michel Ettori (ed: who was also on Heldon II). For Heldon fiends, this makes this something of a holy grail, but there are reasons beyond just K-Priss' line-up to bestow upon it such wild praise. The other principal reason is that this is not just great French electronic prog, it's great *cheese* as well. I wouldn't necessarily call this disco-prog, but it's got all sorts of highly winning and amusing period details that really sends this over the top for me on multiple levels." The cheese factor was always right in Eric's wheelhouse, and after hearing countless records like it, I can understand his passion for it. For example, I love Hydravion, and it's loaded with extra gooey cheese.

Good album that has aged well for me. Would be an excellent choice for Soleil Zeuhl or Musea.

Priority: 3

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