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Thread: Pulsar - The Strands of the Future

  1. #26
    Member Mr.Krautman's Avatar
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    To my ears Strands sounds the most dated and has some amateurish and naive feel which may contribute to his charm. Looks like the musicians tried hard but didn't had the chops and technical abilities to fully reach their ambitions. Halloween was a BIG move forward and is Pulsar's most accomplished work, to be included in the top 10 best french prog records ever produced.

  2. #27
    ^Somehow I don't think they ever aimed at music that was technically challenging, alhtough there are certain parts on Halloween where they jump at somewhat more elaborate passages. Pulsar, to my ears, were always about mood, texture, palate and an overall sense of melodic atmosphere.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
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  3. #28
    Member ashratom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    ^Somehow I don't think they ever aimed at music that was technically challenging, alhtough there are certain parts on Halloween where they jump at somewhat more elaborate passages. Pulsar, to my ears, were always about mood, texture, palate and an overall sense of melodic atmosphere.
    This ties with my own view as well. My notes for Pollen: "Generally regarded as the weaker of the classic three 1970's Pulsar albums, debut Pollen is still an album very much worth absorbing. The album suffers from a muddy production and a certain immaturity towards songwriting. In its favor, however, is an exorbitant amount of atmosphere. I would classify Pollen as "heavy cloud music" (a new genre is born!), in which there's a pervasive melancholy that requires an intense introspection. Ironically the music is inspirational rather than depressing, and provides a perverse motivation. The track that best represents this motif is 'Apaisement' with the drawn out flute, acoustic guitar, organ, fuzz chords, thudding drums, string synthesizer, and the mumbling vocals in French. A rainy day in Lyon indeed. A wonderfully sad album."

  4. #29
    Member Mr.Krautman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashratom View Post
    This ties with my own view as well. My notes for Pollen: "Generally regarded as the weaker of the classic three 1970's Pulsar albums, debut Pollen is still an album very much worth absorbing. The album suffers from a muddy production and a certain immaturity towards songwriting. In its favor, however, is an exorbitant amount of atmosphere. I would classify Pollen as "heavy cloud music" (a new genre is born!), in which there's a pervasive melancholy that requires an intense introspection. Ironically the music is inspirational rather than depressing, and provides a perverse motivation. The track that best represents this motif is 'Apaisement' with the drawn out flute, acoustic guitar, organ, fuzz chords, thudding drums, string synthesizer, and the mumbling vocals in French. A rainy day in Lyon indeed. A wonderfully sad album."
    ... wonderfully sad, scary , appeasing and beautiful album. As you rightly said, Pollen is loaded with contrasting atmospheres and there is nothing really similar in the whole prog genre. (No, it doesn't sound like Pink Floyd, or anything else). I never understood the (undeserved) low ratings for this album which IMO is less polished but much original than Strands or Halloween. A pure gem. And that brain-tearing overdriven/equalized guitar sound...

  5. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by ashratom View Post
    This ties with my own view as well. My notes for Pollen: "Generally regarded as the weaker of the classic three 1970's Pulsar albums, debut Pollen is still an album very much worth absorbing. The album suffers from a muddy production and a certain immaturity towards songwriting. In its favor, however, is an exorbitant amount of atmosphere. I would classify Pollen as "heavy cloud music" (a new genre is born!), in which there's a pervasive melancholy that requires an intense introspection. Ironically the music is inspirational rather than depressing, and provides a perverse motivation. The track that best represents this motif is 'Apaisement' with the drawn out flute, acoustic guitar, organ, fuzz chords, thudding drums, string synthesizer, and the mumbling vocals in French. A rainy day in Lyon indeed. A wonderfully sad album."
    I agree entirely. "Apaisement" has been a permanent fixture on one of my "chill" playlists on my ipod for many years.

  6. #31
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashratom View Post
    This ties with my own view as well. My notes for Pollen: "Generally regarded as the weaker of the classic three 1970's Pulsar albums, debut Pollen is still an album very much worth absorbing. The album suffers from a muddy production and a certain immaturity towards songwriting. In its favor, however, is an exorbitant amount of atmosphere. I would classify Pollen as "heavy cloud music" (a new genre is born!), in which there's a pervasive melancholy that requires an intense introspection. Ironically the music is inspirational rather than depressing, and provides a perverse motivation. The track that best represents this motif is 'Apaisement' with the drawn out flute, acoustic guitar, organ, fuzz chords, thudding drums, string synthesizer, and the mumbling vocals in French. A rainy day in Lyon indeed. A wonderfully sad album."
    Yep, well said. Pollen is an album I found in the wild back in the late 80s. When I saw the band on the back cover, I thought "Damn. There's Bowman's roommate and his friends." You see, my first year of college at BGSU in 1979, there was a guy I graduated high school with on the same floor, and he had a French national as a roommate. There were other French guys who used to hang out there, and they all looked pretty much like the Pulsar guys on the back of that album. I liked the album immediately, and I'm still not certain that I don't prefer it to Halloween.
    Last edited by moecurlythanu; 07-16-2016 at 10:21 AM. Reason: clarity
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  7. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Koreabruce View Post
    Görlitz!



    Yes, I think your comparisons are apt, John. Until now, I'd never fully warmed to this one, but it's been getting more plays as a result of this thread.

    That is cool. I still remember listening to underground European Progressive Rock bands in the 70's at a friend's house and that was one isolated situation revolving around my friend having a relative from Germany who actually gave my friend his collection. With no internet as a resource and little information available on these bands in the U.S. , traveling to independently owned shops to obtain imports was , (of course), a gamble. To find a copy of Mani, Guru, Guru and Some Friends, ...or any title by Eloy, Ange, and Harmonium was literally a task of locating an item that seemed to be non-existent. I was lucky to know a few Rock journalists that wrote reviews ..lol! Seriously...I must laugh at the memory now because it was truly a mission compared to today's standards. The few Rock journalists I DID know recieved the imported albums in the mail weekly. They would listen to them and work on writing reviews. The reviews seemed to go unnoticed for the most part and a real shame because the music itself was worthy. This was years before Wayside Music existed as a mail order business. In fact..I was lucky to discover Wayside. Jem Records was one particular source to investigate, however if a person DID order from Jem ..it would take a couple of months to recieve the item. I still insist on giving Steve F. from Wayside a lot of credit for being in business during the 80's . Archie Patterson and Greg walker were additionally very important people in analog age. What were we to do if they had not chosen to be interested in distributing music like that? I assume it may have been easier to visit Europe to shop for imported undergorund Prog than to depend on a independent shop owner in the U.S. during the 70's. The goal of finding a rare imported Prog album in a magnificent record shop during the 70's revolved around who in fact got there first. But the pioneering vendors I've mentioned came up with the concept of mail order for the U.S. fans and that took some of the tension/frustration away until internet was established globally and somewhat easier to obtain underground music. If you think of yourself driving to a radio station in 1976 to meet with a DJ and paying he/she for the last copy of a certain Prog title, (as it felt), you might think it's a bit insane or just very extreme. It was very hard in that lifetime to find a Pulsar allbum. You had to work at it ....what a joke.

  8. #33
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    Pulsar.. I just adore this band so much. Of course I love their classic albums, but what do others think about albums like Bienvenue au Conseil d'Administration, Görlitz and Memory Ashes? I've come to be a fan of these later albums as well. Görlitz is simply Amazing, especially the titletrack. These later albums really should be reissued someday. Were there ever any live stuff from this band released on DVD?

  9. #34
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    I can swear I saw something about a bootleg DVD-release from Baja Prog in 2002 somewhere, hence my last question. I sure would've loved beeing there, seeing that!

  10. #35
    I was very much looking forward to the Pulsar show at BajaProg and to me it was a major disappointment. I can hardly recall anything at all about their performance, and I don't recall seeing too many reviews of the show. Hate to say it, but bland is the only thing I can think of that could have triggered that sort of non-memory for me

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hour Candle View Post
    Pulsar.. I just adore this band so much. Of course I love their classic albums, but what do others think about albums like Bienvenue au Conseil d'Administration, Görlitz and Memory Ashes? I've come to be a fan of these later albums as well. Görlitz is simply Amazing, especially the titletrack. These later albums really should be reissued someday. Were there ever any live stuff from this band released on DVD?
    I love Pulsars' body of work, including Pollen, Strands and Halloween (I bought all three as imports when they were initially released on vinyl and then got the CD's later) . I think Strands and Halloween were equally amazing, with a slight edge to Halloween. I didn't buy the later ones that you mentioned above but did purchase the Jacques Roman and Gilbert Gandil Way to Lhassa band Siiilk CD, which is an outstanding return to form, albeit in a newer approach. I recommend "Siiilk to anyone who liked their earlier work.

  12. #37
    I didn't enjoy "Memory Ashes" much at all, and got rid of it. It wasn't BAD... but a mixture of "pleasant" and "sedate" didn't cut it. No slow burn, just meh.
    The bland reviews from Baja Prog and "Memory Ashes" kept them down the priority queue for NEARfest.
    I keep their first three and they are an enjoyable night-time listen from time to time, but I seem to like them less well over time. Their vocals are just outright terrible when they attempt to sing in English. "takes" as a two-syllable word... ugh

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by SunRunner2 View Post
    the Jacques Roman and Gilbert Gandil Way to Lhassa band Siiilk CD, which is an outstanding return to form, albeit in a newer approach. I recommend "Siiilk to anyone who liked their earlier work.
    Thank you so much for this. I actually didn't even have a clue that Roman and Gandil still played. I was very happy to learn better. I must check this Siiilk band out asap! Cheers!!

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by progman1975 View Post
    I guess I'm kinda late to the Pulsar train but does that ever scratch that Floyd's itch. The opener,(title track) just gives me that Floyd vibe that I've
    loved for years. Any fans???
    Yeah, I bought it when it was first released...

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    Quote Originally Posted by SunRunner2 View Post
    I recommend "Siiilk to anyone who liked their earlier work.
    I managed to obtain a copy of their Way to Lhassa album and to be honest I'm blown away by it. Again, thanks for the tip! It's simply fantastic to hear Gandil's guitarplaying again. He plays stronger than ever here! Now I must be getting the follow up album from 2017 too. I certainly can hear more than just distant echoes from Pulsar and what a joy it is

  16. #41
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    Now playing the majestic Halloween album. What a band!! The first couple of minutes of part one, with the mighty mellotron and flute may be the most atmospheric and emotional ever.. Same goes for the haunting bit with the 12 string guitar and the mellotron later in the same part. Chills all over!
    Last edited by Hour Candle; 3 Days Ago at 07:19 PM.

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enid View Post
    Archie Patterson and Greg walker were additionally very important people in analog age. What were we to do if they had not chosen to be interested in distributing music like that? I assume it may have been easier to visit Europe to shop for imported undergorund Prog than to depend on a independent shop owner in the U.S. during the 70's. The goal of finding a rare imported Prog album in a magnificent record shop during the 70's revolved around who in fact got there first. But the pioneering vendors I've mentioned came up with the concept of mail order for the U.S. fans and that took some of the tension/frustration away until internet was established globally and somewhat easier to obtain underground music.
    Enid, in your post above you described exactly my record purchase MO during the 1970's and early 80's. I started buying imports at a local record store that carried a decent selection, but once I started exploring other avenues I was eventually connected to Paradox Records, Intergalactic Trading Co and Eurock - all through my fortunate discovery of the legendary Archie Patterson. As he moved from one vendor to another, the variety and depth of prog titles ballooned and opened up a world of possibilities for discovering new prog rock. I fondly remember coming home from work and on my front doorstep was a package of progressive album delights to explore. Sensations Fix, Pulsar, T-Dream, Schulz, Neuronium, Eloy, Arti Mesteri, Granada, Novalis and on and onward. It was a time of my life when I opened up to the amazing world of progressive rock and everything that moved my imagination, musically speaking. Even reading the catalogues and newsletters was a blast. Later, Greg Walker and Syn-phonic rekindled my prog enthusiasm and thank goodness for that great source.

    Thanks for the stroll down memory lane.

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