Les Disques Du Soleil et de l'Acier Pascals : abiento (JAP,2003)**°
First of all I had to have a good laugh with the name, 'Pascals'. It is funny to call a group of individuals, all the same name. Especially some particular names in plural get this funny effect. -I knew a Belgian group before which was called The Ludoos (plural of Ludo).- Pascals refers to Pascal Commelade.
The group appears funny too, in a natural entirely unaffected and innocent way. Their smiles on the cover tell me already they all joined the band to "enjoy" the band. Musically it holds perfectly the middle between a good foundation of serious compositions with European inspiration and at least Japanese inspiration on one track, and some touches of a musically cohesive foundation of humour, and at least some entertainment effect.
They sound a bit like Penguin Cafe Orchestra (some say Yan Thierssen, which makes a point), but more happy. (The Penguin Cafe Orchestra style is most clear on the "Home Coming Song" track). "Egyptian Reggea" is the track which holds a perfect middle between Japanese music, and East European? or whatever (style) : very funny, with a serious sense of nonsense (played by singing, acoustic instruments, toy-instruments, singing saw, trumpet,..). Every composition must be inspired by some people/person who knows music. There's a Brian Eno track. "La Lluna" is a Spanish lullaby which I know from a demented folk-psych album from Pau Riba. Any melody-with-rhythm probably was fine to interpret. "Meters" on an African? rhythm has all kinds of elements from jazz to chamber orchestra. "Mayday" sound the most serious reflective and beautiful composition. Also "Hashire Kozou" starts a bit melancholic but in a definite theater play mode. Last track concludes with an overexposing of their theatrical craziness / madness. Great !
The group consists of 16 "Pascals".