Exposé Online banner

Ptôse — Ignobles Limaces + Night of the Reptiles
(Musea Gazul GA 8680.AR, 1984/2005, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2006-05-01

Ignobles Limaces + Night of the Reptiles Cover artIf you can take your mind back to the early 80s, you might recall that heavily orchestrated rock music (aka “progressive”) was no longer the province of musicians with ambitions to create Art. Just as ambitious musicians a generation earlier had turned to the popular music of their day (namely psychedelic rock) for the base of their progression, in the late 70s, artists looked to the pop of their day with an eye to innovation. The results ranged from Pere Ubu to Talking Heads and even Devo, depending on your taste. In France, this role was filled by Ptôse, an independent (and independent-minded) collective of players who released their work in a series of cassettes. Night of the Reptiles is an example of one from 1983. Utilizing primitive drum machines, synthesizers, guitars, and a variety of other sources, they applied a warped humor and artistic sensibility to what might loosely be termed “synth-pop” – if the Residents made synth-pop. The vocals, in French and English, tend to the non-tuneful, and are mixed fairly low. Ignobles Limaces, an LP from 1984, is a bit more sophisticated, and includes new versions of several earlier tunes. Lionel Jarlan’s xylophone is one of the defining features, lending a light rhythmic tone to the proceedings. Benoît Jarlan’s off-kilter guitar contributes to the twisted sensibility, with very unconventional playing. On the whole, this is very catchy that should appeal to anyone who thinks the 80s had potential left unrealized by what they heard on the radio.

Filed under: Archives, Issue 33, 2005 releases, 1984 recordings

Related artist(s): Ptôse

Latest news

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the ago of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Blue Cranes - Observatories – Blue Cranes are from Portland, Oregon; led by two saxophones, one alto and one tenor. The band has a remarkable style, having heard Monk and Zorn but wanting to play straightforward rock melodies....  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues