L'Eclair

Sauropoda

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

Going strictly by the sound of their records, one might assume that Swiss sextet L'Eclair spend virtually all of their time either listening to records or making music. It's hard to pin down exactly what type of music they produce, but whatever it is, it's clearly the result of people who have impeccable taste, and have spent a considerable amount of time developing their chemistry as musicians. The group seem to have an ear for anything with a spacy, expansive groove, and their music equally recalls everything from Can to William Onyeabor to various library music composers. More so than their first two albums, Sauropoda has more of a cosmic disco tinge to it, mixing proto-house and space vibes into the group's funk-blasted sound. Recorded more or less on the spot in the studio over the course of two days, the album sounds free and loose, but these are far from being aimless, meandering jam sessions. "Castor MacDavid" seems to channel the essence of an early-'80s 12" out of thin air, with a classy, bongo-driven dance beat guiding some absolutely delicious synth parts. "Suite II" is simmering Afro-disco boogie with rising-steam synths and loads of dusty delay, yet it maintains a cool, relaxed attitude. It sounds like the type of track that a producer like Prins Thomas would've spent weeks laboring over, meticulously planning out arrangements and tweaking sounds, but this group just knocked it right out. "Endless Dave" is a much more laid-back Afrobeat-dub chiller, and it really does seem to go on forever, but it doesn't get tiring. The mystic "Parapluie Bulgare" never quite bangs, but it manages to build up to an intense level, and it's hard to escape its grasp. Filled with energy and spontaneity, Sauropoda is one of those albums that make you wonder how the group managed to nail such a distinctive sound so soon after forming.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 03:15
2 12:44
3 04:22
4 07:48
5 08:05
blue highlight denotes track pick