Hydravion - s/t. 1977 France
CD reissue: 2016 Purple Pyramid (USA 4 CD OAS)
LP 2nd issue: 1977 Decca (UK)
After a handful of dark, complex, and remarkable electronic rock albums on the Pole label, Philippe Besombes created a more accessible vehicle for his talents. Thus was born Hydravion. 'Métropolitain' starts with a slightly bouncy, disco tinged, electronic sound - a style that was quite popular in Paris in the late 1970s. But this being Besombes, it doesn't take long for Hydravion to sound more Heldon than Chic. Starting with 'Triste Fin', Hydravion's debut features anguished fuzz guitar leads, bizarre interludes, alien voices, and a whole lot of invention. Many folks tend to overlook Hydravion, but give the album a few minutes to settle in, and you'll see this as a top tier French progressive electronic work.
The only CD is on the Philippe Besombes 4 CD set Anthology (2016). Unfortunately this CD is taken from vinyl, and obviously so. Better than nothing, even though I would never sell my Cobra LP in any case (which I bought in 1987 while still in college!)