Various artists - Enchantement. 1987 France

Various artists - Enchantement. 1987 Musea

CD reissue: 1989 Musea / Baillemont

Note that the CD reissue is much improved from the original LP here: Two are replacements of different material (Edhels, Boffo), and two are new (Anoxie, Halloween). The latter two total over 16 minutes, so not an insignificant addition. And the Halloween track is arguably the best thing on here. I used to own the LP, but traded it out for the CD not long after release, and considering the excellent Edhels LP track is a bonus on the Still Dream CD, that made the decision easy. The CD booklet is as informative as ever about each band participating.

Overall, this album is quite representative of the late 80s French progressive scene, which is not the same thing as saying it's superb. There's a certain New Wave charm to some of the tracks (Elohim, Pulsar, Ange), and there's the made-up-on-the-spot group Atmosphere, who nonetheless provide one of the album's highlights (just don't go looking for the mythical non-existent LP).

And from the original LP - Minimum Vital, Raison de Plus, and Sombre Reptile were among the highlights. Sadly the latter two never achieved the same level of expertise with their somewhat futile CD efforts later on. Minimum Vital, of course, have continued to be one of the bright lights of French progressive rock for almost 30 years now.

For me, it's all a bit of nostalgia, as I knew the guys from Musea, and was just starting my own extensive journey into the netherworld of obscure progressive rock way back in 1987.

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