Christian Boule - Photo Musik. 1978 France

Christian Boulé - Photo Musik. 1978 Polydor

CD reissue: 1999 Musea

Packaging details: Like most albums released in France, the LP cover is a single sleeve and fairly nondescript. The Musea CD adds a full history, with photos and two bonus tracks. The CD is the clear way to go here.

Notes: Christian Boulé had previously played guitar on albums and in concert with French underground rock royalty such as Clearlight, Dashiell Hedayat, Gong, Lard Free, and Delired Chameleon Family, so it was only natural he'd get his chance at a solo career. At the height of the French progressive rock movement in 1978, Boulé released his debut "Photo Musik" on Polydor - the current label of Clearlight at the time (and no coincidence as Cyrille Verdeaux personally made the arrangements). Adding female vocals in English, the album mixes the psychedelic space rock and electronic music of Clearlight with the oncoming New Wave styles that were just approaching on the musical landscape. At once "Photo Musik" recalls Ash Ra's "New Age of Earth" combined with more obscure French bands such as Superfreego and even Eskaton (stripping away the Zeuhl of course). All throughout, Boulé's fuzz guitar is sublime. Those familiar with Phillippe Besombes and Hydravion will find much to enjoy here. A hidden treasure of 1978 France.

Only misstep is '22 Broad Street' while all of Side 2 is great, especially 'Orange Climax'.

Musea CD adds two newly recorded (1999) short tracks from Boulé, Verdeaux, Tim Blake and others. Both are surprisingly relevant and very good.

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