Sunday, 23 March 2014

Couleurs (Carpe Diem, 1976)

Carpe Diem are a French band from the '70s. I partucularly love for their unique blend of space moods and mellow melodies. This long suite, lasting some 21 minutes, comes from the group's second and last album "Cueille le Jour", featuring a title that's the French translation of the Latin name of the band ("Seize The Day", a common quotation of Horace's Odes). It's an enthralling trip starting from a very simple theme going into a lot of beautiful and unexpected variations. Other themes and improvisations come in around minute 9:00 and the wind instruments give a slight King Crimson's touch and a jazzy mood to those sections of "Couleurs". Each time the main theme returns it sounds like new and I admire the perfect balance between synphonic, fusion and electronic moments.

Don't worry: "Couleurs" isn't as dark as its album cover...

When the French lyrics come in- we're around minute 13:30 - the track adopts for a while a fully progressive atmosphere à la Ange, but soon the highly innovative and unpredictable choice of Carpe Diem takes over any usual architecture and drives the listener far away from the well known paths. The final section is so rich and surprising I actually can't describe it and it also displays all the instrumental skills of the band in a cheerful ring-around-the rosey closing section not so far from some Zappa's most humorous songs. In one word: enjoy!