This eponymous CD constitutes Rouge Ciel's debut, but you would not guess it. The maturity found in this music is simply staggering. Guido Del Fabbro (violin, mandolin) and Némo Venba (trumpet, drums) were already known as members of the Fanfare Pourpour, but keyboardist Simon Lapointe and guitarist Antonin Provost got their first exposure with this album. Rouge Ciel's music is painstakingly written and often resembles in vision if not in style Art Zoyd's chamber rock ("Heille! Ou Étude Dissonante" is the most striking example). Elsewhere the fusion elements strongly recall early Maneige ("Abricotabricolle," "Cétakili [Pititounet]"). When acoustic guitar and mandolin meet, they re-create the spirit of early Conventum to a moving extent. This music is not nostalgic, it is timeless, firmly rooted in the avant-garde but without any time markers. All four musicians (young) turn out to be virtuosos (listen to Lapointe in "Out et Serein"; hear how Provost blends his intricate guitar lines to the group sound throughout the album). Venba is particularly impressive on both drums and trumpet; he works as a polarity shifter, dragging the music toward Art Zoyd when playing trumpet, toward Maneige on drums. Complex yet light and engaging, Rouge Ciel comes as an avant-prog revelation.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture