Skryvania - s/t. 1978 France

Complex as all-get-out symphonic progressive rock from 1970s era French teenagers. Sure, the compositions are beyond their ability; the instrumentation is cheap; the (fortunately) sparse vocals border on the atrocious, and the production isn't much better. Having said all of that, I find music like this irrésistible. The sheer audacity of these kids trying to pull this off is impressive enough. Of course they emulate their heroes Yes, King Crimson, and Genesis more than they should, but here's an album that is perfect for "relistenability". Long tracks that are very involved, twisty, crazy - and without purpose. Great stuff.

Personal collection
CD: 1990 Musea

An extremely rare album, the original run is said to be no more than 200 copies, and given the amount I've seen over the years, I would have to think that's probably true (I think these numbers are often higher than dealers like to let on - but not in this case). Musea was early to market with a CD, that comes with full historical notes (still using their old LP fonts) and bonus tracks, one of which is just as great as the album itself. This was one of Musea's earliest efforts, and already by 1990 they "did the needful" as my Indian friends like to say. I bought one immediately upon release, as the album had a great reputation even back then (and well deserved for the right type of listener).

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