Pascal Languirand - Minos + De Harmonia Universalia + Vivre Ici Maintenant. 1978-81 Canada



Minos: Pascal Languirand is sort of the Richard Pinhas of Quebec. A one man show of dark electronics (primarily Moog) and searing electric guitar. He's a bit more cosmic than Heldon, which calls to mind Klaus Schulze. And he often uses wordless voice that reminds me of Franco Falsini (Sensations' Fix). Side 2 opens with a tripped out folk number in French that I find highly appealing in this setting. The album closes as it starts with a Heldon like psychedelic guitar electronic piece.

De Harmonia Universalia: The sophomore effort is quite similar to Minos, but a bit less foreboding and more cosmic than its predecessor, with no drop-off in overall quality. Areas where electric guitar once dominated, have now been replaced with the softer tones of the synthesizers. Again, celestial synthesized voices augment the cosmic proceedings. Sequencers also take center stage here. Mid 70s Klaus Schulze emerges as the dominant influence this go round.

Vivre Ici Maintenant: The trio of classic Languirand albums is completed by "Vivre Ici Maintenant" and again, perhaps surprisingly, there is no noticeable decline in the quality. Here, Languirand takes us a bit further to the East while adding some acoustic percussive elements. The sequencers and cosmic electronics are still ever present. And Languirand even adds a bit of Ashra styled echoed electric guitar to the stew, making this one perhaps a tad better than the previous album.

Apparently Languirand carried on with three more releases starting in 1991 with the last one wrapping up in 2002. I haven't found much compelling evidence that these are worth seeking out, but I'll keep an open mind all the same.

Personal collection
LP (Minos): 1978 Kebec Disc
LP (De Harmonia Universalia): 1980 Minos
LP (Vivre Ici Maintenant): 1981 Minos

The debut features a very nice silver embossed cover of a bull's head (Minos' bull of Greek mythology). De Harmonia Universalia had two LP releases, one on Polydor, and the other on Languirand's own Minos label. The Polydor issue is actually known as De Harmonia Universalia - Minos, and it finally becomes clear to me that this subtitle has created confusion in the modern marketplace. RYM lists this as a compilation from 1993, indicating it's a reissue of the first two albums. But that's simply not the case*. The last album was only released on the private Minos label, and the cover makes Languirand look ridiculous with his newly appointed gold tinted hair. All the LPs are single sleeves with no extras.


---*As reader Bas suggests, there is a compilation of the first two albums after all from 1993 (last scan), but different from the photo on RYM (which is assuredly the 1980 French press of De Harmonia Universalia). The compilation contains all but one track of De Harmonia Universalia, but only two songs (~18 minutes) of Minos. It appears that one track ('Lunar Bass One') is a bonus not on any of his other works. So unfortunately, these remain completely unreissued as far as I'm concerned.

2 comments:

  1. Looks like there *is* a compilation from 1993 (with some tracks missing) on a Spanish label that also released the second of the later albums in the same year. Someone's selling it on ebay.

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    Replies
    1. Good catch Bas! I'd heard rumors of this comp, but didn't find evidence of it. And obviously RYM mixed up the cover for it. I updated this post accordingly. Still not reissued on CD, but better than nothing I guess :-/

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