Besombes, Philippe - Libra
Originally released in 1975 on the French Pole label, this classic electronics-oriented film soundtrack is reissued here from the master tapes (and a good thing to have, as the lp pressings were all awful) and with almost 30' of bonus material added!
"A chemist by training, Philippe Besombes was engaged in the French avant-garde scene from the early 1970s. Abandoning his doctoral degree for his pioneering work with new electronics in different musical contexts, he supported himself through the seventies creating the sounds for theater and ballet, and was a well-known audio engineer in the French contemporary concert scene. Perhaps best known for his group Hydravion, Besombes still records and releases music at his studio in Versailles. Conceived as the soundtrack (and, in fact, the ONLY sound in the movie) for the avant-garde film Libra, the music on this 1973 album ranges in style from electronic pop mixed with music concrete ala Parmegiani/Henry to psychedelic exercises, progressive rock, and fusion. The album includes a mix of rock musicians and electronic treatments, a very new way of working at that time."
" This album occupies a very special, weird place in my heart. I first heard it through a friend, who taped it for me from the original vinyl on his dodgy tape deck... When I got it home and played it while tripping on mushrooms, I found that the recording had come out with the speed constantly going up and down, which lent an even creepier air to the creepy bits (a housemate who came up the stairs and past my room at this point was even thoroughly spooked, and she wasn’t tripping!), and for a while I came to know the album in that warped guise. But anyhow, who’s this Besombes guy? Philippe Besombes was a sonic genius who somehow evaded wider recognition for his music until very recently, with the reissue of most of his 70’s output on MIO. It’s always seemed a shame to me that Richard Pinhas and his band Heldon have been relatively more acclaimed, despite overall being less inventive in the French experimental electronic rock field. Not to knock Pinhas though, he made plenty of great albums in the 70’s. But Besombes is no less deserving of attention, and in my mind, much more so. I like to think I’m his biggest fan, but more likely there are scattered folks all around the world who hold his music in as high regard as I do. The music of his prime 70’s output is some of the most hallucinogenic I’ve ever heard, even more remarkable because Besombes didn’t take any psychedelic drugs, despite what has been implied on at least one on-line write-up. This guy is a sonic genius and aural magician who made music that sounded like he had psilocybin pumping through his veins, but it all came down to his own natural inspiration and curiosity. Believe me when I say that his music is made for psychedelic journeying, even if he didn’t necessarily intend it that way, or do so with any direct knowledge of that kind of thing. A natural shaman who had no need to venture to the other side on chemical sacraments because he was already there, at least through his ears. The music he made in his prime just comes alive, even more so with certain chemical assistance. What potent natural juices this guy had flowing through his brain! Besombes was a student chemist (no, not that kind of chemistry...) who became more interested in electronic music in the early 70’s, and abandoned his Ph.D studies to further explore this area. ..."-headheritage.co.uk