Alan Stivell - Chemins De Terre (1973) Fontana/6325 304 - Original FR Pressing - LP/FLAC In 24bit/96kHz - NEW 2017 RIP!

Posted By: Fran Solo
Alan Stivell - Chemins De Terre (1973) Fontana/6325 304 - Original FR Pressing - LP/FLAC In 24bit/96kHz - NEW 2017 RIP!

Alan Stivell - Chemins De Terre
Vinyl | LP Cover (1:1) | FLAC + cue | 24bit/96kHz & 16bit/44kHz | 800mb & 200mb
Label: Fontana/6325 304 | Release: 1973 | Genre: Progressive-Folk

A1 Susy Mac Guire
A2 Ian Morrison Reel
A3 She Moved Through The Fair
A4 Cân I Melinydd
A5 Oidhche Mhaith

B1 A Dro Nevez (Nouvel An Dro)
B2 Maro Ma Mestrez (La Mort De Ma Bien-Aimée)
B3 Brezhoneg’ Raok
B4 An Hani A Garan
B5 Metig
B6 Kimiad

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – Phonogram
Printed By – Imprimerie JAT, Chatillon
Recorded At – Studio Hérouville
Acoustic Guitar [Guitare Acoustique], Banjo, Dulcimer, Psaltery [Psaltérion], Vocals – Gabriel Yacoub
Acoustic Guitar [Guitare Acoustique], Electric Guitar [Guitare Electrique], Vocals – Dan Ar Bras*
Arranged By – Stivell* (tracks: A1 to B2, B4 to B6)
Bagpipes [Cornemuses], Bombarde, Drums [Batterie Ecossaise] – Bagad Bleimor
Bass, Vocals, Artwork By [Illustration] – Jean-Luc Hallereau
Drums [Batterie] – Michel Santangelli*
Engineer – Dominique Blanc Francard*
Fiddle, Vocals – René Werneer
Harp [Harpe Celtique], Vocals [Chant], Bagpipes [Cornemuse Ecossaise], Flute [Flûte Irlandaise], Mellotron, Timbales [Timballes], Harmonium, Liner Notes, Illustration – Alan Stivell
Organ [Orgue], Piano – Pascal Stive
Photography By – C. Jarroir*, J.-F. Puthod, J. Aubert*
Producer – Franck Giboni
Spoons [Cuillers], Vocals – Marie Yacoub
Tabla – Michel Delaporte
Vocals – Elyane Werneer, Mireille Werneer
Released in a outer laminated gatefold cover.
Made and printed in France
Barcode and Other Identifiers
Matrix / Runout (A-side runout stamped): 6325304 1 380
Matrix / Runout (B-side runout stamped): 6325304 2 380
Matrix / Runout (A-side label): 6325 304 1
Matrix / Runout (B-side label): 6325 304 2
Price Code: Ⓑ

Alan Stivell - Chemins De Terre (1973) Fontana/6325 304 - Original FR Pressing - LP/FLAC In 24bit/96kHz - NEW 2017 RIP!

Alan Stivell - Chemins De Terre (1973) Fontana/6325 304 - Original FR Pressing - LP/FLAC In 24bit/96kHz - NEW 2017 RIP!

Alan Stivell - Chemins De Terre (1973) Fontana/6325 304 - Original FR Pressing - LP/FLAC In 24bit/96kHz - NEW 2017 RIP!

Cleaning: RCM Moth MkII Pro Vinyl
Direct Drive Turntable: Technics SL-1200MK2 Quartz
Cartridge: SHURE M97xE With JICO SAS Stylus
Amplifier: Marantz 2252
ADC: E-MU 0404
DeClick with iZotope RX5: Only Manual (Click per click)
Vinyl Condition: NM-
This LP: From my personal collection
LP Rip & Full Scan LP Cover: Fran Solo

Hands down, this record which is actually buried in oblivion, features about 30 minutes of pure magic – electric folk of its finest kind and not a bit less majestic and unique as the critically acclaimed work of Steeleye Span and others. And the remaining 10 minutes are absolutely good, too!
I got this album when I didn’t have a clue what Celtic folk was actually about. You cannot imagine how amazed I was when I dug that one out after having falling in love with all the electric folk stuff from the UK. And it’s today I found out that Dan Ar Bras (later of Fairport Convention) and the Yacoub siblings (of Malicorne) contributed to that album as well. The farewell song Kimiad is just an experience of its own. I’m a big fan of Steeleye Span’s Saucy Sailor, but this one tops it for me. There’s Alan Stivell’s gravelly voice, the fluent acoustic guitar picking, the majestic wailing of the bagpipes, the sad and low-key rolling of the percussion – and an extended mournful Mellotron cello counterpoint (at 1:50) lamenting underneath this overwhelming piece of beauty. Kimiad actually is a Breton farewell song, and every departing man or soul who is released to these sounds may be envied – it’s really that good. The brief Oidhche Mhaith isn’t a tad less fascinating, but restricts itself to the swirling backing of Alan Stivell’s harp and Pascal Stive’s Hammond organ. Marie Yacoub, a gorgeous folk singer who was sadly underused on Malicorne’s debut album, is one of a bigger bunch of backing voices, but is easily distinguishable. The moment when the Hammond organ enters is proof against everyone who believes that folk music and electronic instruments don’t belong together.

In spite of Stivell’s thick accent, or maybe even because of it, She Moves Through The Fair is my favorite interpretation of that English ballad, which is surely the best-known tune on this album. The harp spins relentlessly around the calm drone of the bagpipes in the second half of the song, at some places the acoustic guitar takes over the job of swirling around without me actually realising the change in instrumentation, and who would have thought that adding some distant tablas to the instrumental playout of the track could be so effective? Usually, tablas on folk records annoy me (Steve Ashley’s Stroll On is an exception), but this is simply perfect. An Hani A Garan is another ballad which falls into the category of the previously mentioned songs, but adds an icy three-part tin whistle (or ‘pipe’, as Morris men mayhap would put it) arrangement which takes over the lead in the last minute of the song. A treat!

But some of the recordings on this album drive the folk rock approach even further. The most radical and hard-rocking one is the Ian Morrison Reel, a blasting piece of folk’n’roll with a marvellous fiddle tone and more bagpipes rushing away on a tight rhythm of drums, bass and electric guitar. Check out the early albums by the Scottish band Run Rig, too, if you’re into this particular kind of folk rock. Brezhoneg Raok (I think this means ‘Breton Rock’ in English) is a rock number composed by Stivell, and although it’s got hardly any relation to folk music it suits the rest of the album fine. Some might call Dan Ar Bras’ electric guitar tone a bit murky, but I get on with it really well since he doesn’t dominate the songs and because what he plays is really good – fuzzy dual lead guitars, some theatralic string bends and jazzy flourishes. And most importantly the rhythm section isn’t just another copy of Dave Mattacks et al., but a machinery of its own, as the weird but successful Celtic/jazz fusion mix-up of Metig reveals. This piece moves from spacy Hammond organ carpets beyond a dance part with some wordless singing to some military drum rolls before entering into a swinging band coda. Utterly enjoyable music, and this applies to all of the aforementioned tracks!

The three pieces which are ‘only’ in the 4-star realms are An Dro Nevez, Can Y Melinydd and Maro Ma Mestrez. The first one is a jig type of piece floating away on a laid-back band groove, bagpipes and fiddle taking the lead and mountain dulcimer and a slightly funky electric guitar in the background; it’s just a wee bit too long for its own sake with the same melody being repeated over and over again. Can Y Melinydd, with – as it seems – dual lead vocals by Alan Stivell and Gabriel Yacoub and Yacoub’s sister on spoons, is a pretty upbeat song led by banjo and twisted bass lines. Maro Ma Mestrez turns out to be more psychedelic again although the first verses – sung a capella – actually promise a more traditionalist rendition of this tune. It’s a spacy lead guitar and, again, the Hammond organ which finally turn the cards during the second half of the song.

This leaves us with the opener Suzy MacGuire, which is one of the rare examples in which true psychedelia and folk music touch each other at the right place, creating something really groundbreaking altogether. In the very beginning there’s only Alan Stivell and a muted drum, but then the dulcimer enters the fold and propels the song further on until Stivell’s reedy harmonium adds a grievous note to the song. In the end you find crashing cymbals, swirling harps and wayward piano vamps turn around a reverberated electric guitar solo. A real piece of genius again!

First of all – this album brought the tentative ideas of the French electric folk group Malicorne to perfection. They were much too diffident and stubbornly traditional on their very first album which came out at around the same time (although the magic La Pernette makes a difference). Chemins De Terre is among the real classics of the seemingly inexhaustible folk genre and, as other reviews have already stated, manages to create that special connection between you (as the listener) and the earth you stand on – at least if you want to. If you have the chance to visit the countries where this kind of music comes from, be it Ireland, France, Scotland, England or maybe even parts of Germany – use your time to empathise with the country and the music. This album is the perfect soundtrack for a day at the sea. As well it is a suitable addition to the collection of anyone who has at least some relation to folk music.
Review by Einsetumadur,
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