Exposé Online banner

Gwendal — Les Plus Belles Chansons de Gwendal
(EMI 829087 2, 1994, CD)

by Mike McLatchey, Published 1996-08-01

Les Plus Belles Chansons de Gwendal Cover art

Gwendal are an amazing group and one of my favorites of the severely underrated French / Breton folk-rock scene. Unfortunately the distribution of any of their albums is uncommonly poor and it seems that being on a big label (EMI) has made future reissues of their 70s and 80s albums very uncertain. Which is a sad fact, as this compilation attests. As good as it is, I'm still confused as to the logic of how they put it together. Conspicuously absent is anything from their third album A Vos Desirs (most of their albums are just called Gwendal adding to the confusion), which was my introduction to the group and one of their more prog-rock like efforts. About half of their debut is here, which shows their more traditional roots. Most of the compilation is from that album, their second self-titled, Gwendal 4, En Concert, and another Gwendal (aka Locomo). Most of these tracks are very good. Gwendal are an incredibly talented band featuring an electrified Celtic folk rock style with nimble reels and traditionals led by dexterous flute and violin. The melodic lines are quite complex and expertly played comparable to the venerable Malicorne in technical expertise. The last few songs are from 1985's Danse la Musique, their more commercial effort, thankfully you can program these out. I usually ignore compilations, but due to the lack of reissue coverage, this is definitely very worthwhile. This acts as an ideal introduction and comes very very highly recommended.


Filed under: Archives, Issue 10, 1994 releases

Related artist(s): Gwendal

Latest news

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Iona - Journey into the Morn – The first 15 minutes of this album (except the two-minute opener) give the listener no idea of what is to come. If you judge an album based on a cursory listen of the first few songs , this one would...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues