Tuesday, October 6, 2015

First-Ever Vinyl Reissue of Chronolyse Created by Richard Pinhas, France’s Legendary Electronique Guerilla, in Tribute to Frank Herbert’s Sci-Fi Classic, Dune

Cuneiform Records is proud to announce the first-ever vinyl reissue of Chronolyse, the masterwork of 1970s analogue electronics that French electronic musician and guitarist Richard Pinhas created in tribute to Frank Herbert’s sci-fi classic, Dune. This special reissue, pressed on 180 gram white vinyl and featuring the original album artwork, celebrates Chronolyse’s conception nearly 40 years ago as well as the 50th anniversary of Dune, the first volume of which was published in 1965.

[Richard Pinhas]

Back in 1974, Pinhas received his PhD in Philosophy from the Sorbonne, where he had studied with French philosopher Gilles Deleuze and written his dissertation, “Science-Fiction, Inconscient et Autres Machins”, on the intersections of time, time manipulation, science fiction and analogue electronic music. That same year he founded Heldon. a band that fused his searing guitar with experimental electronics to revolutionize rock music in France. By 1976 Heldon had released several albums on Pinhas’ Disjuncta label (one of France’s first independent labels), and began working on a new album, Interface. Simultaneous with the Interface sessions, Pinhas immersed himself in a highly personal and heartfelt solo project. He had been deeply affected by Frank Herbert’s Dune novels and the complete universe that they contained, and wanted to dedicate a full album to Dune. Acquiring a Moog P3 and a new Polymoog to accompany two Revox A700s he had installed in his home Heldon Studio, Pinhas now had the perfect analogue electronic arsenal to weave his own sonic and philosophical universe in response to Dune’s.

Between January and June 1976, he recorded his Dune tribute on Moog and Polymoog direct to tape; he recalls that the music flowed to him easily, “like a dream”. He used his “Big MOOG P3” and the two Revox (one for recording, one for a delay) to record side A of the album, which included 7 tracks dedicated to “Variations Sur Le Theme des Bene Gesserit” and one track named after “Duncan Idaho”. For side B, he used his Polymoog and the two Revox to record a “Tronix” base for a single, lengthy track, “Paul Atreïdes”. Originally, he had thought to do an all-Moog album. But instead, he went into the Davout Studio with his guitar and his Heldon colleagues, Didier Batard (drums) and François Auger (bass) to record their instruments over the Polymoog track. All the track names derived from Dune. "Bene Gesserit" is a name of the race of the woman who has ESP. "Duncan Idaho" is a military aide of the clan of Atreides; the name also was similar to that of one of Richard’s sons, Duncan, who was then a little more than one year old. "Paul Atreides" is a boy who corresponds to the hero of the story. But Pinhas did not want his album to be a too “commercial” Dune tribute, and thus chose his album’s name, Chronolyse, from a work by French science fiction novelist, Michel Jeury, whose writings dealt with time manipulations.

[The first-ever vinyl reissue of this classic, which has been unavailable on vinyl for 35 years]

Chronolyse came out on vinyl in 1978, released by Cobra only in France. Although it was his first solo recording, it was his second solo album release, as Rhizosphere had come out the year before.  As completed, it included one side of solo, live Moog synthesizer pieces, notable for their wide, stereo field and unique sound - a product of the weeks he spent setting up and programming the sounds on his huge Moog P3 modular synthesizer. The other side was a lengthy, stormy, drone-filled, epi of mellotrons (Polymoog), electronics, guitar, bass and drums by his Heldon colleagues. In Chronolyse, Pinhas not only explored new synthesizer technologies, new sonics and materials, but also the philosophical concepts that he held dearest, such as timeless repetition and the superimposition of events. In Chronolyse, Pinhas wove his separate worlds of music, philosophy, science fiction and literature, physical reality and family life into a single sonic and philosophical universe.

Steve Feigenbaum, Cuneiform’s founder and CEO, had long admired Pinhas’ work; he calls Chronolyseabsolutely one of Richard’s very finest works: half live Moog electronics that make fantastic use of stereo imaging and mix aggression with the repetitiveness of Phillip Glass or Terry Riley, and half with Heldon in a 30' King Crimson-ish stormy drone-epic of mellotrons, electronics, guitar, bass, & drums.”  25 years ago, after months of communicating across the Atlantic, he took the train from Washington DC, Pinhas flew from Paris, and the two met in person in New York City to discuss a collaboration. Cuneiform and Pinhas signed a contract for Cuneiform to reissue on CD and distribute internationally all of Pinhas early solo and Heldon recordings, originally released on LP in France. They decided to reissue the back catalogue in groups of two.  The first Cuneiform CD reissues, Chronolyse and East/West, came out in 1991 with a Cuneiform press release written by NYC-based science fiction novelist Norman Spinrad.  Now, Cuneiform is doing the first-ever vinyl reissue of Chronolyse, 35 years after it last appeared in that medium.

[Richard Pinhas]

Composer, electronics innovator and guitarist Richard Pinhas is one of France's major experimental musicians. He has long been recognized as a pivotal figure in the development of combining rock music with electronics. Years before MIDI existed, Richard was creating sophisticated electronic music using vast walls of the available components of the day. Both as a solo artist and with his band Heldon, he released a number of advanced and classic albums in the 70s that set the stage for much of what is thought of as 'contemporary music'. A ceaseless innovator, he continued to experiment and expand his music over the subsequent decades and into the present day, releasing dozens of solo and collaborative recordings that continue to expand the parameters of rock. In a 21st century creative surge, Pinhas has released numerous new recordings on Cuneiform in recent years, including collaborations with such artists as Merzbow, Tatsuya Yoshida and Oren Ambarchi. His work has been discovered by new generations of fans, some of whom have sampled his music (Four Tet). Pinhas also performs live, solo or in various groupings, and frequently performs at festivals of rock, experimental and electronic music. In 2015 he’ll do a three-night appearance at London’s TUSK festival.

If you'd like to share music from this release with your readers/listeners, please feel free to use the following track:
"Sur Le Theme De Bene Gesserit VII":
stream: @SoundCloud / @Bandcamp / @YouTube





October 9
8:00 pm
Paris, France
Le Triton
11 Bis Rue du Coq French
Lilas (Les), France, 93260
trio with Yoshida Tatsuya and Ono Ryoko (Sax Ruins) + with Pascal Comelade
€ 20 Normal/  €15 Reduced/ €12 Member/ €8 Junior
October 10
6:00 pm
Newcastle, UK
Tusk Festival: Day One
Stepney Bank, Newcastle upon Tyne,
Tyne and Wear NE1 2NP, United Kingdom
trio with Yoshida Tatsuya and Ono Ryoko (Sax Ruins)
€55 Full Weekend Pass/  €20 day pass
October 11
6:00 pm
Newcastle, UK
Tusk Festival: Day Two
Stepney Bank, Newcastle upon Tyne,
Tyne and Wear NE1 2NP, United Kingdom
duo with Stephen O'Malley
€55 Full Weekend Pass/  €20 day pass
October 12
7:30 pm
London, UK
Corsica Studios
4/5 Elephant Rd,
London SE17 1LB
United Kingdom
trio with Yoshida Tatsuya and Ono Ryoko (Sax Ruins)
£11 Advance
October 14
9:00 pm
Poitiers, France
Planetarium, Espace Mendés France
1 Rue de la Cathédrale,
Poitiers, France 86038
trio with Yoshida Tatsuya and Ono Ryoko (Sax Ruins)

PT: € 6; TR: € 3.50
December 17
7:00 pm
Toulouse, France
les Abattoirs, Auditorium
76 Allées Charles de Fitte,
Toulouse, France 31300
Richard Pinhas & Arthur Narcy

€ 7 admission

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