Philippe Besombes

La Guerre des Animaux

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    4
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This effort by Besombes consists of "background" music, throwaway instrumentals where each track lists whether the tempo is fast, medium, or slow; what instruments are used; and even, at times, the type of rhythm, like ska, reggae, or military march. It's much more controlled and predictable than Besombes' earlier records, though at times, the mechanical feel of the rhythms are somewhat reminiscent of Kraftwerk and other stuff that predates electronica. Some of the pieces do stand out, like "Sleeping Pour le Zoo," which has some splendid synthesizer improvising over the fast, steady drum beats and rhythmic breaths, and the far-more aptly titled "Le Cimetiere des Elephants," with a dense, lumbering drum-rhythm and more keyboard improvisation. Other tracks are rather weak, like "Les Crepuscule des Animaux Ouveture," which sounds like a rinky-dink version of some obscure national anthem. Fortunately, the good tracks outweigh the dreck, and as a record of instrumentals for production work or other incidental music, it's more than adequate. On the other hand, the record barely hints at the crazed creativeness of Besombes' '70s albums.