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Birgé Gorgé is Jean-Jacques Birgé and Francis Gorgé, who combined their respective synth and guitar prowess for this 1974 set of strangely-textured jams (not quite free improv, but not exactly pop songs either), never previously released in their original form. Avant Toute is pressed to black and white vinyl in a limited edition of 700 on Souffle Continu Records.

LP £19.99 FFL014

Black and white vinyl LP on Souffle Continu Records. Edition of 700 copies with obi strip.

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Avant Toute by Birge Gorge
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8/10 Laurie Staff review, 01 June 2016

Birge Gorge is the musical argy bargy of Jean-Jacques Birge and Francis Gorge from that '70s time when noodly widdle was not only ok, but fashionable. I guess these 2016 times are just as widdly, with 10 year olds starting free noise psych bands every day, but that’s only because the world has run out of ideas so back back back we go into the past to do it all again.

Where was I? Oh yes - the sonic madness of this record, Avant Toute, which is summed up perfectly by not the front but the back cover. A mustachioed '70s man stares in intense disbelief at his own hands as they skitter across the neck of his bass guitar, resulting in some seriously troublesome plunks while his buddy, Mr synth man, sits motionless on a chair behind him. It looks (and sounds) like his modular patch has become self-aware and has stolen his role in the band, spurting out wild sequences that only hint at harmony and ease, during the opener ‘Bolet Meuble’, anyway. They decide to play roughly in key and time with each other on the second one ‘CXLII’, conjuring a real komische drone that’s pretty tangerine dream, like old, ancient Tangerine Dream.

I’m glad there’s some normality here, the disarming opening bleeps of the 1st tune are just too much at 9.30am. OK they’re back at it on track III, god help us all. The synth continues to spit ludicrosities at the guitar man, who attempts to imitate the mad squeaks with a fair amount of success. I’ve never heard such synchronised nonsense. They weave some misc recordings in too, like the tinkling of keys that I thought was Clint standing oddly behind me. The final one is a 17 minute epic that I can’t face right now. Just know that the comparisons with Silver Apples are partially accurate, though amplify their madness by a few hundred levels and you might be there. It’s like Robert Fripp and Delia Derbyshire celebrating 420 with some hard shit.


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