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Gazul launched its Les Zutopistes archive collection with a Pascal Comelade title, so what better way to follow up than with something by Klimperei, France's most original (and influential) toy-music band. Christophe Petchanatz assembled Patamob from tracks recorded every weekend between 1997 and 2001. These short tunes may have been written and recorded without a bigger picture in mind, but the resulting album holds up pretty well. By 2005, Françoise Lefebvre had left the project behind, but she is still featured on piano and various percussion on all 24 tracks. Petchanatz shifts back and forth between arrays of guitars, keyboards, percussion, and miscellaneous toys, like a faux-naïve incarnation of Mike Oldfield. When the music is happy, it makes you feel like dropping everything and run open-armed through the first field of daisies you find. When it is sad, it simply asks for a warm hug. Delicate musicianship, a unique melodic sense, and endless creativity (as the group's long discography testifies) hide behind this utterly naïve and amateur front. Patamob features a bit more keyboards than usual, but is otherwise a representative effort, with highlights found in tracks like "Mon Pion Marron," "La Foire aux Cochons," "Les Lapins sur la Plage au Soleil," and the melancholic waltz "Les Dépenaillés." This is probably one of Klimperei's easiest albums to locate, so it offers a very good place to start. If you already appreciate the guilty pleasures of Comelade, Frank Pahl, and other players on the underground toy-music scene, you owe it to yourself to give Patamob a try. People already familiar with the group's music may find this opus a bit redundant, especially since Petchanatz had reactivated the project and resumed releasing new material by 2005.

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