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Rhn: Fanfare du Chaos

Hailing from Caen, France, RIO/Zeuhl troupe Rhn approaches their zany, complex, and boisterous music with a touch of vaudevillian theatrics. An unconventional unity of orchestration, chamber, and progressive jazz, their sound is utterly absurdist. On Fanfare du Chaos, Rhn exudes a cartoonish madness while also showcasing their skills at at intensive composing. It's like hearing a devilish yet tongue-in-cheek stage show presented by Frank Zappa, Danny Elfman, and Devin Townsend.

For one thing, their vocalist/drummer goes by the name Captain Flapattak (no relation to Tripps, Beefheart, or Howdy). In addition to him, there are six other members, including a two guitarists and a wealth of horn players. They all contribute "chants" as well. At times, Fanfare du Chaos sounds like instrumental intermissions between scenes in an opera; at other times, it sounds like a carnival of pagans. In any case, it's fairly unique.

"Toz" explodes with an immediately playful arrangements; horns pave an unconventional, ever-changing melodic structure as they rhythm section does its best to keep up. Flapattak mimics the music with hyperbolized delivery. The piece also sinister at times, especially during the middle part, which involves plenty of counterpoint and dissonance; it's like a less aggressive version of Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. The much shorter and calming "Intermud" follows, giving listeners a much needed break from the frenzy.

For the most part, the rest of the record adheres to the same templates. "Bmlo" is a bit more straightforward than its siblings, but other than that things pretty much follow a set approach (which is a bit oxymoronic considering how schizophrenic it all is). There's a new idea every thirty seconds or so, and like all insanely intricate music, you'll wonder how they manage to play it so tightly. Fanfare du Chaos isn't the most accessible or comfortable record you'll ever hear, but it may be one of the most interesting.


Track Listing

1. Toz (09:25)
2. Intermud (02:59)
3. Dunb (08:57)
4. Bmlo (05:34)
5. Mlez (06:16)
6. h (08:18)

Added: August 1st 2013
Reviewer: Jordan Blum
Score:
Related Link: ProgArchives Entry
Hits: 1654
Language: english

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