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Pulsar – The Strands Of The Future – 1976 (FRA) space rock/progressive rock

Pulsar – The Strands Of The Future – 1976 (FRA) space rock/progressive rock

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Pulsar's second album, 'The Strands of the Future', is one of the definite and undisputable masterpieces of French prog, and together with their next recording 'Halloween', incarnates the band's peak in terms of inspired writing and skillful performing. Their style keeps on being somewhat inspired in 73-75 era Pink Floyd, but there are also obvious references to Tangerine Dream and Jean-Michel Jarre's electronic excursions (powerful presence of multiple layers of synths and mellotrons), and also some compelling pastoral passages of flute and acoustic guitar in the 3-minute coda. All this complex sonic whole is perfectly manifested in the top-notch 22-minute namesake suite. In fact, this very suite might as well be referred to as the definite Pulsar song, since it not only encapsulates the various recurring musical flavors that make up the band's style, but it also takes those flavors to a magnificent level - the motifs and arrangements are masterfully crafted under the progressive banner at its most essential. The guitar solos that go reappearing here and there stand somewhere between Hackett's hypnotic vibe and Fripp's free flooding dissonances, most of the times creating interesting dialogues with the synth leads, but securing a starring role everytime they come to the fore. The brief sung section is mesmeric, and so are the synth lines and layers that are displayed through all remaining sections, spacey, symphonic and places in between. You can tell that this is your typical poetically passionate French prog, but not in the sense of Ange/Mona Lisa (theatrical, cynical), bue in a more melancholy, introspective mood, something like a psychological travel into the deepest and most obscure realms of the individual self, which explains why Pulsar's sound tends to be so inescrutable and tetric so recurrently. This suite may as well be worth the whole album... but there are still other good things to enjoy, the other three remaining tracks that occupied side B ofthe vynil. 'Flight' is a brief instrumental that alternates jazzy colours in the opening and closing sections, with a nice, languid interlude in between. 'Windows' is a dense symphonic ballad, which allows the band to explore in its own "Pinkfloydness". A special metnion has to go to the delicate flute lines that create surrounding colors around Gandil's lead voice. The stunning closing number 'Fool's Failure' (its final section is a clear homage to that of PF's 'Welcome to the Machine') is yet another particular highlight in Pulsar's discography: 'Fool's Failure' recaptures partially the somber magic of the namesake suite, giving this recording a "full circle structure", so to speak. Gandil's chanting gets somewhat Hammillian at times, albeit focusing on the melancholic timber and not goig to as many places as Hammill himself (well, the point was not emulting him, right?).

- Victor Bosch / drums, percussionВ 
- Gilbert Gandil / guitars, vocals
- Roland Richard / flute, stringsВ 
- Jacques Roman / organ, Mellotron, bass, synthesizers

alt1. The strands of the future (22:08)В 
2. Flight (2:37)В 
3. Windows (8:47)В 
4. Fool's failure (10:17)

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The album code is : ODI152992

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