Richard Pinhas 'L'Ethique' LP
Interviewed by "Electronics & Music Maker" magazine in 1982, Richard Pinhas spoke in buoyant terms about the future of his recording career. Having just unveiled his fifth solo album, L'Ethique, he was already scheming towards its follow-up. The next record. It would see him shift from analogue-based methods to digital systems. He expected the album to arrive in 1984. Little did anybody know that the mooted record would not actually materialise.
The year after that interview took place, Pinhas was plunged into a long period of depression. "I stopped everything and didn't think I would ever come back to music," he remembers. "I decided music was no longer for me. I'd said what I had to wanted to say, and it was done. It was out of my head and out of my life." Thus, he sold all his synthesisers and tried to survive on their profits along with royalties from his back catalogue. L'Ethique now looked as though it was Pinhas' final artistic statement. It was a strong collection to go out on.
L'Ethique saw Pinhas return to bigger and bolder band-like methods. His collaborators included bassist Bernard Paganotti and Clément Bailly, both of whom performed stints in the prog band Magma. Moog player Patrick Gauthier made a reappearance too. The line-up brought a phat and forceful feel to the crunching jazz-rock fusion of 'Belfast' and 'Dedicated To K.C.', a vibrant space-rock stomper that lurks on some distant planet between the extraterrestrial habitats of King Crimson, Pink Floyd and Hawkwind. Part 1 of 'The Western Wall' has a particularly fast tempo.
Interspersing these rockers sit some mellower moments. The title of the gorgeous synth rumination 'Melodic Simple Transition' seems far too modest. Despite its dark and brooding synth chords, the second instalment of 'The Western Wall' has a strangely calming effect on the senses.
Pinhas disappeared from the limelight for nearly a decade under the weight of his depression. On the strength of this record, not to mention the works that preceded it, there's little wonder that so many labels and promoters were falling over themselves to persuade Pinhas to return to music, which he eventually did in the 1990s. "The real miracle is that I reconnected with the music-making process," says Pinhas on overcoming his reclusive years. "It is easy to fall, but very difficult to come back."
Catalogue number: BB293LP
Label: Bureau B