Exposé Online banner

Catharsis — Le Bolero du Veau des Dames
(Spalax 14203, 1974/1994, CD)

Catharsis — Et S'Aimer... et Mourir
(Spalax 14280, 1976/1994, CD)

by Mike McLatchey, Published 1995-03-01

Le Bolero du Veau des Dames Cover artEt S'Aimer... et Mourir Cover artCatharsis were one of the most esoteric of the French 70s rock groups, combining influences of rock, folk, classical, psych and medieval into an unusual and distinctly individual mold. Led by keyboardist Roland Bocquet, Catharsis released a plethora of 30 minute albums of which these are not literally volumes 5 and 6. Le Bolero du Veau des Dames and Et S'Aimer... et Mourir... are both very similar in style — a slightly baroque sounding progressive rock with a refined Satie like simplicity — elegant and charming. A close cousin would certainly be Wapassou with the naive, almost antique musicality and developed yet straightforward themes. Catharsis' strange menagerie of musical references imbue a certain sense of a haunting uncertainty. Moving through each album's short duration are reminders of Genesis (Bocquet and Bank's organ styles can be close,) Ange (yet no so vocally prominent,) psych beat like the Strawberry Alarm Clock (the "Age of Aquarius" wordless vocals,) and a naturally French cultural influence that brings the music closer to its contemporaries like Carpe Diem, Falstaff, or Metabolisme. These albums are both very good and a pleasurable listening experience, but 18 bucks is a hell of a lot of money to put out for 30 minutes of music. These are good as starters — as of this time volumes 1 through 4 should be out as separate discs (although Griffin music had released 1 and 2 together, a now deleted package) for those who found these amiable listening.

Filed under: Reissues, Issue 6, 1994 releases, 1974 recordings, 1976 recordings

Related artist(s): Catharsis

Latest news

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Angel'in Heavy Syrup - III – Angel’in Heavy Syrup are a four piece band from Japan. The group is composed of Mineko Itakura on bass and vocals, Mine Nakao on guitar and vocals, Fuseo Toda on guitar and chimes, and Tomoko...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues