Richard Pinhas - L'Ethique. 1982 France


Unlike the 1970's era Heldon albums, all of which I can unconditionally recommend, the same cannot be said for Pinhas' solo works from the same period. Rhizosphere is a static electronic album, Iceland is as chilling as its name, whereas East West shows Pinhas trying his hand at more commercial material. But two albums stand out: Chronolyse (1978) which is perhaps the best of the lot and the album of today's post L'Ethique.

L'Ethique was an excellent way for Pinhas to close shop (and he didn't truly resurrect for at least another 10 years). It's a concise summary of his musical career to that point. The 4 part title track, spread evenly throughout the disc, demonstrates what I think he was trying to do on East West, except with far better results (and it helps immensely that he buries some of his patented tortured guitar into the mix). The two part 'The Wailing Wall' follows down this trek, but is even more powerful, especially the smoking guitar and sequencer runs of Part 1. 'Melodic Simple Transition' represents his pure electronic side. But best of all, is the return of his King Crimson inspired heavy rock jams, as found on the last two Heldon albums and 'Chronolyse'. These are represented by 'Dedicated to K.C.', 'Belfast' and the bonus track 'Southbound' (taken from the Perspective compilation).

This album was my introduction to Pinhas' solo works, and I bought the LP not long after it was released. One of those albums that opened musical doors for me.

Personal collection
CD: 1992 Cuneiform (USA)

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