Exposé Online banner

Present — Le Poison Qui Rend Fou
(Cuneiform Rune 3, 1985, LP)

by Mike McLatchey, Published 2018-06-14

Le Poison Qui Rend Fou Cover art

Generally speaking, spin-offs are never a good idea, but if you count Present as a Univers Zero spin-off then it's a terrific exception to that rule. Le Poison Qui Rend Fou was the band's sophomore effort, put out by the then young Cuneiform label, following on Atem's Triskadekaphobie, the two of them sharing the same CD release until they got their own remastered versions. Le Poison is a masterclass of what tends to be called avant-progressive these days, a more guitar-oriented approach than what Univers Zero had been doing up through their early albums (with of course both Roger Trigaux and Daniel Denis coming over from that group). The spectre of Magma hangs very low in the distance but tends to imbue the proceedings with its martial subnote and everything hangs on the balance as the guitars wail away over complex, punctuated piano work. It's all extremely urgent music with great intensity, but hey, instead of hearing what I have to say about it, here's some choice quotes from my coworkers as I have been playing this. "Hey that sounds like circus music." "It sounds to me like a psychological thriller" (I reply "Alfred Hitchcock!") "Flight of the Bumblebees!" "It sounds like knock-somebody-off music." But yes, it is almost the very incarnation of approaching psychological dread, after all that is part of a human skull sitting on red velvet on the cover surrounded by bones and coins. And that's not a bad metaphor at all for the music. But what a brilliant work it is to inspire such catharsis, and such an emotional release it is, performed by brilliant musicians not compromising in any way during a musical era where Journey and Huey Lewis and the News were topping the charts.


Filed under: New releases, 1985 releases

Related artist(s): Present

More info
http://cuneiformrecords.bandcamp.com/album/le-poison-qui-rend-fou-remastered-expanded

Latest news

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more

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


Previously in Exposé...

Vidna Obmana & Alio Die - Echo Passage – Both Vidna Obmana and Alio Die are masters of dark ambient drone music. Echo Passage, a reissue of their 1999 release on Musica Maxima Magnetica, is one long track roughly 68 minutes in duration that...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues