Eclectic Maybe Band
Again Alors?
Discus 130CD
(2022)
Available formats: CD/DL

 

“Guy Segers’ latest work paints with a large deep palette, music that at times conjures wide vistas and then suffocating claustrophobia. Deep listening material.”– Dereck Higgins

“Eclectic? Definitely and this by pairing vision with technical ingenuity. Guy Segers as the Belgian Bill Laswell. Absolutely recommended.” – Georges Tonla Briquet, JAZZ HALO

“Again Alors? is as good as it gets. Not only does this album successfully negotiate the amorphous genre that is chamber rock, but it is a damned good listen all the while. Very few, if any, albums can boast this accomplishment.”– Thomas Mellish, SQUID’S EAR

 

Eclectic Maybe Band is the creation of Guy Segers, a player / composer / producer first prominent as bassist with legendary band Univers Zero, and subsequently active in many live and studio projects. “Again Alors?” is the third release by EMB which brings together detailed studio work with the creativity of real time improvisation. Using different groupings from within a large ensemble cast, which includes many well-known names, Guy has created an album where half the tracks are drawn from live improvisation in the studio and half are created from the ground up with players adding their composed or improvised parts one at a time. In both cases Guy assumes the role of master arranger, taking the improvisations as raw material and sculpting them into finished pieces.

This richly detailed new release takes the listener on a journey through rock, jazz, electronic and abstract landscapes packed with detail.

Guy SEGERS (bass, virtual keyboards/ drums / samples)
Carla DIRATZ (vocals, whistle)
Cathryn ROBSON (vocals)
Pierre BERNARD (flute)
Roland BINET (flute)
Stephan KÖHR (bassoon, contrabassoon)
Martin ARCHER (clarinet)
Dirk DESCHEEMAEKER (clarinet, bass clarinet)
Dave NEWHOUSE (saxophones, bass clarinet)
Joe HIGHAM (clarinet, keyboards)
Jean Pierre SOAREZ (trumpet)
Cécile BROCHÉ (violin)
Ariane PLUMEREL (violin)
Sigrid VANDENBOGAERDE (cello)
Catherine SMET (piano)
Andy KIRK (keyboards)
Kazuyuki KISHINO (ghost machine)
Michel DELVILLE (e-guitar)
Ángel ONTALVA (guitar)
Pascal VAUCEL (guitar)
Fabrice OWERZARZAK (drums)
Dirk WACHTELAER (drums)

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Reviews

Guy Segers remains a maverick on the Belgian scene. As label boss of Carbon 7 at the time, he stuck his neck out and released the first CDs of Aka Moon. Currently, he is still a bassist and composer as, for instance, with the collective Eclectic Maybe Band where he is the central hub and whose third CD was released last year but stayed under our radar (thank you Brexit). Catching up.’Again Alors?’ comprises a compilation of various recordings at various venues with no fewer than 21 names passing by in eight different combinations. The thread here is improvisation, sometimes based on compositions provided by Segers, sometimes a collective happening from start to finish. Group name and CD title point unapologetically towards a surreal sense of humour worthy of Magritte. Alternative subtitle could be ‘Ceci n’est pas du jazz’. So jazz is in there but drawn out in very twisted patterns. That all the musicians involved left traces in the worlds of prog, fusion, contemporary classical, rock and jazz has a lot to do with that. Let’s not forget that Guy Segers himself made some high-profile albums with cult group Univers Zero. Opening track ‘Disquiet’ (a composition by Segers) initially lets the listener float around in the silence of an unknown cosmos in which slowly recognisable sound contours emerge that lean towards prog. A “brave new world” develops in the form of a kind of suite propelled by an amalgam of instruments (bassoon, flute, saxophones, guitar, violin, keys, cello, drums). Most notable jammer here is guitarist Angel Ontalva who eagerly scratches and carves around himself. Chaos but in a focused way. Subsequently, parallels with John Carpenter film music and Japanese horror films are legion. Also “industrial trance” is one of the descriptions applicable to all that follows. All along the line, a tangle of connections is made each time. Musically but also through the musicians’ mutual links such as, for instance, between vocalist Carla Diratz, guitarist Pascal Vaucel, clarinettist Martin Archer and the Discus label. Naming the names of the musicians for each song would take us too far. This info can be found on the cover. Let it suffice to know that they are all on the same wavelength and the urge to seek extremes is their source of energy. Well understood without getting bogged down in directionless or endless “art for art’s sake”. This is the third album from a collective that manages to come out surprisingly without aberrant labelling in the year 2023. They deliberately position themselves on the sidelines and offer “package tours” from there to unknown sonic destinations. With the collaboration of Pierre Bernard, Roland Binet, Joe Higham, Dave Newhouse, Cécile Broché, Michel Delville, Kazuyuki Kishino and, of course, Guy Segers himself, among others. Eclectic? Definitely and this by pairing vision with technical ingenuity. Guy Segers as the Belgian Bill Laswell. Absolutely recommended. – Georges Tonla Briquet, JAZZ HALO

Guy Segers’ latest work paints with a large deep palette, music that at times conjures wide vistas and then suffocating claustrophobia. Deep listening material.– Dereck Higgins

The Eclectic Maybe Band is the vehicle of Guy Segers, that is, the bassist of renowned chamber rock group Univers Zero. Far from abandoning his past sonic sensibilities, Segers continues to lend his services to this unique category of music. We should relish this fact; for, Segers continues to be a pioneer. The musical milieus contained within Again Alors? range from sparse to suffocating, from pusillanimous to proud. This album begins with “Disquiet.” Initially, a series of synths combine to form a zephyr which emanates through the scant mix. Not wanting to keep to one form for too long, though, the track transmutes. A breathy, seemingly strained, hum coaxes a collection of woodwind passages out of their stupor. And, in celebration of their newfound vigor, these passages gyrate in and around quintessentially jazzy rhythms. Then, like some AA meeting, each instrument stands to provide a short blurb about itself. Again Alors? has made a compelling introduction. In “Further On The Ladder,” emaciated vocal lines cast a shadow over frenetic rhythmic epicycles. Although most of the individual parts of these polyrhythms are smudged such that they cannot be individuated, the peppy piano chords remain lucid. After this, some petulant strings wail somewhere in the distance. Maybe goaded by this, each of the track’s minutiae begin to converge on the listener; instruments edge closer and closer, heckling and harrying as they do. This is a storm that must be braved. Both “Tingling Skin”and “Voici Voila” have an acutely experimental flavor to them. The former consists of a supple piano that is juxtaposed against insurmountable walls of ambient fuzz. Somewhat differently, the latter begins with an atavistic saxophone indulging its most sordid thoughts. Yet, this rabid instrument does not remain unfettered for long; being sure to tread carefully around it, gentle rhythms soothe it incrementally. Throbbing, organ-like, swathes of sound signify the completion of this process of sonic eudaimonia. “A Beast Trophy” begins with flittering scales that are redolent of bird song. This vivid sense of luster is propounded further through various jubilant arpeggios, all of which are constructed such that they perfectly intersect. “Atomos Keyhole” is the closing track. Disparate vocal textures coalesce to the point that one doubts whether they are produced by a human voice. Demonic barks, prostrated moans, and angelic vibratos can all be heard here. Synths whistle and rustle in the background as they bear witness to these multiple textural metamorphoses. Again Alors? is as good as it gets. Not only does this album successfully negotiate the amorphous genre that is chamber rock, but it is a damned good listen all the while. Very few, if any, albums can boast this accomplishment. – Thomas Mellish, SQUID’S EAR

Wild, mind-expanding, and all over the proverbial categorical map, the third album by Eclectic Maybe Band is something of a Discus-centric supergroup. Though founded and fronted by former Univers Zero bassist and composer Guy Segers, in-house luminaries such as label impresario Martin Archer (clarinet) and Carla Diratz (vocals, whistle) are joined by fellow UZ alumnus Dirk Descheemaeker (sax and clarinet), Muffins and Skeleton Crew multi-instrumentalist Dave Newhouse, guitarist Angel Ontalva of Seaorm (and collaborator with Russian space rock outfit Vespero), and a whole host of extraordinarily gifted performers who lend their own idiosyncratic flavors to an already dizzying mix. Thankfully, Segers manages to keep the ship on course and steady so that the disparate sounds populating these compositions rarely drift into improvisational cacophony. The opening “Disquiet” is the album’s de facto mission statement, its gradually ascending interstellar synths allowing time for the piece to achieve liftoff, setting the stage for an epic piece of mood and malevolence that could almost be early, seminal King Crimson if shoehorned into a more classically-structured matrix. “Further On the Ladder” makes overt the influence of Segers’s parent band on his own musical sensibilities, doom-rock that somehow blends the satanic majesty of early Black Sabbath and vintage Henry Cow into a maelstrom of relentless groove, supported by a careening organ that lurches about like a drunken Prometheus on the prowl. “A Beast Trophy” initially gives the impression that it will carry on in a mad glee similar to its predecessor, but the fairground whimsy, barrage of japing horns, and splatterfest synths playfully conjure Hatfield and the North more than the teutonic hirsute rockers of krautrock past, though spiritually such allegiances aren’t found too far back in the fossil record. And the fear sharply metastasizes throughout the closing ten minutes of “Atmos Keyhole”, as Cathryn Robson’s oral ejaculations channel Diamanda Galas’s existential angst, Kazuyuki Kishino’s ghost machine washes across Segers’s bass-scapes, and both crawl hesitantly about the wreckage of a studio stormed by mecha-beings intent on retaking the universe. Powerful, punchy, and proggy, and wholly Eclectic in the extreme. Which is precisely the point. – Darren Bergstein, DMG NYC

After a three-year hiatus, Guy Segers is re-acquainting us with his mysterious part-improv, part-structured vehicle, the Eclectic Maybe Band. Once again, there is a deep well of respected musicians from whom he elicits some diverse and intuitive outings and which he then painstakingly stitches together in the studio to produce dramatic pieces of adventurous bearing, veering all over the map and taking in jazz, funk, minimalism and drifting ambience, sometimes all within one track. t might sound overly busy, but the truth is that there is a lot of room to breathe throughout the eight pieces presented here and the fact that the line-up of players varies with each song means that each selection has its own feel, often with the only connecting element Guy’s elastic, distant yet warm bass. Again Alors? opens with an intro that feels like a camera panning back to show the interior of an abandoned submarine; there are eight players involved here, but the sound is sparse and creeps slowly through electronic mist, brooding, generating a sense of foreboding. As the piece progresses, so other players interject, lending neo-classical touches that introduce fresh pressure as things slowly evolve. It is the beauty of the long-form pieces here that allow evolution but at a steady pace. We are offered various solos as if they are introducing themselves, a brief dazzle and then a step back into the shadows. The album moves through many settings; the sylvan scene of “Retable Vertigineux”, with its shimmering haze and companionable flute entwining with the intrigue of clarinet, is very different to the heavy, slow burn of “Further On The Ladder”, which has the inimitable vocals of Carla Diratz channelling her inner Mark Lanegan, reflecting a life lived well. Pascal Vaucel‘s guitar simmers below the surface, and the rocky rumble steers and struts around the voice. Carla’s phrasing and the use of vibrato are wonderful, while Cécile Broché‘s violin is like the antithesis with its high-pitched keening and elongated stretch. Generally, the collective improvisations tend to be more progressive, building from a point into a widescreen whole, like the piano droplet-infused tidal drift of “Tingling Skin”; while those pieces composed by Guy tend to start from a point with more of a groove, like the flute-speckled funky workout “A Beast Trophy” which, although it grooves, it does have a measured feel. To be honest, where Guy is editing the improvisations into a kind of sculptured whole is extraordinary and I can’t work out how the players know what they are playing against; but it always seems to work and interestingly, different players do bring a different feel to their pieces. Dirk Wachtelaer‘s drumming throughout the album is percussive and gently busy, while Fabrice Owerzarzak tends to bring a simpler, more fluid groove entwining beautifully with Dirk’s mysterious bass clarinet on “Voici, Voila”, still leaving plenty of room for the tension of Cécile’s violin. The album ends with a piece that stands apart once again with the ghost machine of Kazayuki Kishino revolving slowly against a stately echo-laden bassline. Cathryn Robson‘s stark vocals are disconcerting hints that ripple and stretch, growl and scrape as the pieces moves like a stricken vessel, the bass desperate to move away from the rim of a black hole. It is quite an unexpected ending to an album that is already jam-packed with intrigue and brimming with ideas. The selection of tracks and the sequence works well, but it is Guy’s attention to detail that stuns the most. His vision for the Eclectic Maybe Band is singular, but it works; and thanks to the ingenuity and generosity of the players, this is another success. – Mr Olivetti, FREQ https://freq.org.uk/reviews/eclectic-maybe-band-again-alors/

Eclectic Maybe Band zum Dritten. Das Projekt hat sich wohl inzwischen zu einer Art virtuellen Bigband entwickelt, hat doch Guy Segers (der einzige, der in jeder Nummer zu hören ist) eine ganze Ladung von Mitmusikern eingebunden, die sich aber selten (also zumindest zur Einspielung der hier vorzufindenden Musik) zusammen in einem Tonstudio aufgehalten haben. Oder, für die Tracks 2, 4, 5 und 7 fanden sich wohl jeweils 6-7 Musiker in einem Aufnahmeraum in Belgien ein. Diese vier Track werden im Inneren des Digifiles übrigens als Kollektivimprovisationen geführt, während die anderen vier Nummern Guy Segers als Komponisten haben, in “Atomos keyholde” zusammen mit Kazuyuki Kishino. Ein bisschen Namedropping: Martin Archer (Orchestra of the Upper Atmosphere, Das Rad), Dirk Descheemaeker (Univers Zero, Julverne), Dave Newhouse (The Muffins), Jean Pierre Soarez (Art Zoyd), Andy Kirk (Univers Zero), Michel Delville (The Wrong Object), Ángel Ontalva (October Equus, Seaorm) und einige mehr. Beeindruckend, zumindest wenn man Avantprogadept ist, auch wenn die meisten derselben nur in einer der Nummern auftauchen. Die Musik auf “Again Alors?” bewegt sich weiterhin irgendwo im Grenzgebiet von Avantprog und freierem Jazzrock, bisweilen etwas retrorockig eingefärbt, oft freier Klangmalend. Eine Spur elektronischer scheint mir die Musik diesmal ausgefallen zu sein (man höre z.B. das abschließende “Atomos keyhole”), aber es gibt hier natürlich viel Kammerprog zu hören, und Fans der Bands denen die oben aufgeführten Musiker angehören (oder einstmals angehörten) sollten recht viel Spaß mit dieser Musik haben. Mit “Further on the ladder” gibt es auch wieder eine Art Song, in dem Carla Diratz ihre Reibeisenstimme erklingen lässt und auch im schon erwähnten “Atomos keyhole” sind menschliche Stimmen (recht exaltiert) zu vernehmen. Ansonsten ist die Musik sehr farbig und abwechslungsreich ausgefallen. Flöte, Klarinette, Violine Fagott, Sax, Cello, Trompete, Piano, Bassklarinette sorgen immer wieder für bisweilen ziemlich abgefahrene Solo-Einlagen, während E-Gitarre, Bass und Schlagzeug für die rockige Grundlage zuständig sind (so denn eine vorhanden ist) oder schräges Wüten, eingebettet meist in diverses Tastenwerk und allerlei Elektronisches (ab und zu auch Gesampeltes und programmierte Perkussion). Zwischen schrägen Soundscapes, freiem Klangbasteln und klassisch-komplexem Avantprog bewegt sich die Musik dabei, virtuos vorgetragen, druckvoll produziert und schwungvoll bzw. intensiv vorgetragen. “Again Alors?” ist ein weiteres hervorragendes Album aus dem Hause Discus, welches Hörern und Hörerinnen sehr zu empfehlen ist, die progressiv-experimenteller Klanggebilde aus der Avantprog- oder Jazzrockschublade schätzen. – Achim Breiling, BABYBLAUE SEITEN http://www.babyblaue-seiten.de/

Again Alors? is the third release by Belgium’s Eclectic Maybe Band, the creation of bassist/composer Guy Segers. Half the tracks were improvised live in the studio, half created by players contributing composed or improvised parts one at a time…… The long opening “Disquiet” is powered by drummer Fabrice Owerzarzak, who cleverly varies the groove. Like the album as a whole, it crosses genres that include rock, jazz, electronica and abstract. An enjoyable, eventful release. – Andy Hamilton, THE WIRE

Is this a band? Maybe. Is it eclectic? Most definitely. For their first release, 2018’s The Blind Night Watchers’ Mysterious Landscapes, they were a six-piece all-Belgian unit formed around the core of Guy Segers (ex-Univers Zero on bass, samplers, virtual keyboards, and percussion) with Michel Delville (ex-Machine Mass, The Wrong Object on electric guitar), Catherine Smet (keyboards), Roland Binet (flute, tenor sax), Joe Higham (woodwinds and electronics), and Dirk Wachtelaer (drums). By their second recording, Reflection in a Moebius Ring Mirror (2019), the core remained intact but Segers added a dozen more musicians from all over the planet to play on this track or that, and for this, their third album, Again Alors?, the lineup has grown by five more, and the group’s scope and vision has grown as well. Univers Zero alums Dirk Descheemaeker (clarinet, bass clarinet) and Andy Kirk (keys) are now in the group, along with clarinetist Martin Archer, basoonist Stephan Köhr, Dave Newhouse (sax, bass clarinet), Cécile Broché and Ariane Plumerel (violins), Jean-Pierre Soarez (ex-Art Zoyd trumpet), Carla Diratz and Cathryn Robson (vocals), Ángel Ontalva (October Equus and Seaorm) and Pascal Vaucel (guitar), Fabrice Owerzarzak (drums), Pierre Bernard (flute), Sigrid Vandenbogaerde (cello), and Kazuyuki Koshino on ghost machine — whatever that is, but it sounds really cool and features on the magnificent final track “Atomos Keyhole.” The album is roughly an even split between Segers compositions and group improvisations, and the singers contribute their own lyrics. Obviously not every player plays on every track, though Segers assumes the role of master arranger, pulling the various players’ contributions together and forming them into the finished pieces. The opening Segers composition, “Disquiet,” begins with a gentle gamelan-like percussive intro over a period of several minutes as other players slowly join the parade of sounds, featuring saxes, guitar, flute, electronics, drums, bassoon, and more, building slowly at first, then taking a more structured form, carrying on to its thirteen-plus minute conclusion with some of the most interesting music one will hear anywhere. Diratz’ unique vocals grace the track “Further on the Ladder,” another Segers-composed piece that moves forward in a haunting and deliberate way, with Vaicel’s snarly guitar tones lighting the way forward; it’s one of only two vocal tracks on the entire set. “Voici, Voila” and “Smudgy Cartography” typify the inventive collective improvisations that work so well as interludes between the more composed tracks, gentle, powerful, and scenic in every way, the former sprawling out to its eleven-minute conclusion, while the latter is the album’s shortest track at just over five minutes. Again Alors? serves as a pivotal creative portal for Segers and the many musicians involved, and stands as one of the finest releases of the year — and don’t forget that the two previous albums are every bit as engaging as this one. – Peter Thelen, Expose magazine – http://expose.org/index.php/articles/display/eclectic-maybe-band-again-alors-3.html

Another musical novel of mystery, intrigue, freight elevator travel from the basement to the twilight zone upper floors, through a maze of gravitation fields mixed with alien clay and unidentified substances. This, the third masterpiece under the hands of master musician, composer, producer, engineer, and all that is and isn’t classified as creator of art, Mr Guy Segers. That said, as he continues to thrill listeners, this genius brings large hand picked ensembles together, who do a magical performance of both composed pieces and improvisational works, in no certain order, and then waits on the wizard (Segers) to edit, slice or dice, add or subtract, spin the dials into what results into ultimate brilliance from every single second of each composition. A unique method, and amazing output from everyone involved. The final mastering is by Pierre Vervloesem. The audition of the music is as great as you would expect, and for fans, this “Again Alors?” recording is packed with an almost bursting at the seams combination of ambient, Canterbury fusion – small section and big band jazz, dark chamber, fleeting classical, sharp edged progressive rock with the urgency his early fame as a member of Univers Zero, hints of Present, and far more than simple adjectives can convey. A look at the universal musicians tell quite a lot. – Lee Henderson BIG BEAUTIFUL NOISE MAGAZINE https://www.bigbeautifulnoise.com/

Third release by Eclectic Maybe Band is Again Alors? (DISCUS MUSIC DISCUS 130CD) (with a title that may or may not be a reference to the famed Michel Portal 1970 jazz album on Futura Records). Once again it’s mostly the work of the indefatigable Belgian genius Guy Segers, who not only composed four of the eight tracks, he also did all the arrangements and mixing. His method this time has involved a careful direction and assembly of recordings, improvisation and live playing in the studio, with the multiple players sometimes building up the track by adding their parts in isolation. Unlike previous item Reflection In A Moebius Ring Mirror there seem to be fewer samples and tape-loop moments on offer this time, but that’s not to say it’s been any less labour-intensive. The impression I have, perhaps incorrectly, is of Guy Segers staying awake for 25 hours a day as he scores his compositions, listens intently to hours of improvised music in the studio, directs musicians, adds overdubs, and then enjoys the dessert course as he settles down over his steam-driven editing device housed in Argonote, Brussels, only to surface after a solid five days of tape splicing. At one level, this workaholic approach may remind us of Frank Zappa (without the continual coffee and cigarette breaks), except that our man Segers seems to be less of a control-freak and much more open to the contributions of others. Speaking of which, he has the usual small army of skilled jazz and free rock players at his disposal, who I assume are continually sitting in waiting in an underground bunker like avant-garde firemen, until the Segers hot-line flares up and summons them to the next emergency. You can expect a very rich mix of chamber-rock quasi-jazz ensemble sounds on this dense record – woodwinds galore, electric guitars, keyboards, bass, brass, drumming…to say nothing of the virtual keyboard work of Segers himself. The music itself can swing and sway a bit like creaky big-band jazz, as on ‘A Beast Trophy’, but with very tricky time signatures more akin to French prog rock from the 1970s; and it can also brood and fret over an elaborate series of ugly chords and unexpected changes, as on ‘Disquiet’ or ‘Tingling Skin’. Throughout, there’s a continual sense of anxiety and dread, but expressed musically like some form of dark science-fiction, a nastier version of Druillet’s Lone Sloane; this impression aligns quite nicely with the few records I’ve heard by Univers Zero, the 1970s-80s Belgian avant-rock group of which Segers was the bassist. He has evidently retained his “critical” edge and through his music continues to remind everyone in the world that we are surrounded by dark clouds, that all systems are corrupt and unmanageable, or that we’re living inside a volcano full of skulls of which the sheer walls are unclimbable. The impression is further confirmed by the dystopian sc-fi type paintings on the cover, executed by Silena. Fine work of uniquely constructed, rich, and darkly pessimistic fare; the label notes are keen to praise the way that Segers uses musical recordings as “raw material, sculpting them into finished pieces.” – Ed Pinsent, SOUND PROJECTOR

Another musical novel of mystery, intrigue, freight elevator travel from the basement to the twilight zone upper floors, through a maze of gravitation fields mixed with alien clay and unidentified substances. This, the third masterpiece under the hands of master musician, composer, producer, engineer, and all that is and isn’t classified as creator of art, Mr Guy Segers. That said, as he continues to thrill listeners, this genius brings large hand picked ensembles together, who do a magical performance of both composed pieces and improvisational works, in no certain order, and then waits on the wizard (Segers) to edit, slice or dice, add or subtract, spin the dials into what results into ultimate brilliance from every single second of each composition. A unique method, and amazing output from everyone involved. The final mastering is by Pierre Vervloesem. The audition of the music is as great as you would expect, and for fans, this “Again Alors?” recording is packed with an almost bursting at the seams combination of ambient, Canterbury fusion – small section and big band jazz, dark chamber, fleeting classical, sharp edged progressive rock with the urgency his early fame as a member of Univers Zero, hints of Present, and far more than simple adjectives can convey. A look at the universal musicians tell quite a lot. – BAD ALCHEMY

4 stars. Celebrating your six year as a band may not seem like a big deal in the world of fly by night experimental jazz-prog, it can be an expensive and disheartening journey when you’re sole passion is to craft otherworldly musical sounds that few will ever here. Well then there are band leaders like Guy Segers who has more than paid his dues as a founder of Univers Zero and then drifting on to Present, Gurumaniax and Uneven Eleven. THE ECLECTIC MAYBE BAND has lasted for over a half decade now and now only is that an achievement but this eclectic indeed musical entity has released its third album in the calendar year 2022! One could call this some sort of musical melting pot of sort with more and more members joining forces on each subsequent release. The band’s debut “The Blind Watchers’ Mysterious Landscapes” hosted an impressive seven musicians on board but three of them only contributed to a single track so really it featured a “normal” band lineup in number however all hell brook loose with the sophomore followup “Reflection In A Moebius Ring Mirror” which incorporated a whopping 17 instrumentalists and vocalists to the mix! Well can too much of a good thing be bad? Well not for these weavers of music magic. On this year’s third release AGAIN ALORS? Segers outdoes himself and casts an amazing 21 musicians for the party. Like both previous albums this one is a lengthy beast and exceeds the 74-minute mark. That’s a lot avant-pills to swallow for the uninitiated but if you are into this kind of weird musical expression that sounds something like Art Zoyd meeting The Necks and perhaps Heldon with hints of Univers Zero as well as other prog references then you won’t think that this is too much music at all. In fact when music is this well crafted and original how can you NOT want more? Only eight tracks but once again THE ECLECTIC MAYBE BAND showcases a diverse roster of talent that adds up to an amazingly wide range of stylistic approaches. The album opens with the uneasy abstract bleakness of “Disquiet” which exists in a darkened void of what many would deem the world of progressive electronic. Sounding something like a jazz-infused Heldon with angular references to Univers Zero during its “Heresie” era, this jangled mind blowing convocation of sounds eventually morphs into a bizarre strange of avant-jazz punctuated with avant-prog sensibilities, bizarre time signatures and ushers in a strange “conversation” between the instruments. “Relatable Vertigineux” continues the avant-jazz focus but once again this is the type of jazz that doesn’t obey any logic or set rules. Once again the freeness is forged by Segers’ studio time that allowed large ensembles to craft live improvisation. The fact that these tunes were actually generated in live time makes them all the more impressive. “Further On The Ladder” lands back on Earth for a mopey yet oddly constructed vocal track. A rare but palatable “groove” keeps this one easier to follow than the freer drifting tracks that dominate. “Tingling Skin” is kept stable by a piano tinkling but enshrouded with a swarm of instrumental ambience that trades off the droning process while other instruments oscillate and reverberate as if everything has become an acoustic jazz reinterpretation of Klaus Schulze’s strangest moments. Just when you think it can’t get more abstract “Voici Voila” drifts off into a world where no musical rules apply whatsoever and the entire thing sounds like an instrumental representation of various jungle animals in competition to be heard. Luckily a bass groove albeit on the avant-jazz side of things comes in and tames everything a bit well at the very least adds a bit of structure to make it sounds like a jazz ensemble go Krautrock from the early 70s. “A Beast Trophy” takes a complete left turn and sounds like a genuine jazz-fusion piece from the late 1970s only with lots of flute. Solid bass groove, tight chops and then some bassoon! Univers Zero gone jazz perhaps? “Smudgy Cartography” is a reverb guitar improv sounding something like Fred Frith in Henry Cow with meandering motifs in full angularity. The grand finale “Atomos Keyhole” is an atmospheric freakfest in full improve mode on steroids. Basically a scary droning effect with lots of wordless vocals and a somewhat jazzy bass groove. Sounds a bit like Dimanda Galas crashing the party while the band is warming up. While it’s always hard to express why some improv tracks work and some don’t, i can safely say this one is my least favorite of the lot. A simulation of a heartbeat creeps in and so does some guitar licks. Sounds a bit like Magma dropping the zeuhl and engaging in a free-for-all. Wow. After the more accessible grooves of the previous album i was wondering if THE ECLECTIC MAYBE BAND were going to continue into a commercial arena or even exist at all. This is exactly the direction i was hoping for! This album is even weirder and wilder than the debut and that’s in a good way. Of course these improv avant-proggy jazz types of albums will only appeal to the most adventurous and open-minded music freaks out there but i am happy to report that this one is done so very very well. The musicians all gel together perfectly. The tracks all differ sufficiently as to make the album not fall into tedium and the production is perfect as well. There’s never a cluster of sounds that suffocate the desired emotional response and best of all this is all very original as it doesn’t sound like anything else out there and even distinct from the two previous albums. Overall i’m extraordinarily happy with this third EMB release. Right on, Guy Segers! There is life after UZ and Present! – siLLy puPPy

Still led by the Belgian bassist/composer, Guy Segers’ band is releasing its third album. A blend of jazz, Canterbury-school progressive rock, contemporary music, experimental and landscape music, E.M.B. is unclassifiable and a fine continuation of the style previously developed by bands such as Univers Zero, Present and Magma. The album is largely produced in the form of ‘cut up’ or ‘correspondence’ music. I say ‘cut up’ because this long CD of over 70 minutes features a succession of four highly original compositions and four improvisations. The compositions were recorded in various parts of the world (Belgium, Germany, Spain, France, England, USA, Japan) by musicians specially selected by Guy Segers. This gave us ensembles ranging from three to eight people. He then ‘assembled’ these solo performances to create a definitive work. As for the improvisations, they are the result of invitations to specific musicians to spend a day in the studio. The final result is based on what these musicians have played and which corresponds to the bassist’s expectations. These works call on a wide range of brass instruments, strings, keyboards, a rhythm section and a few ‘machines’. So, depending on your personal tastes, you’ll be more inclined to appreciate one part of this music or another. Personally, I prefer the compositions, no doubt because I’m not familiar with the other way of doing things. In addition to the styles and groups mentioned above, this music will be of great interest to audiences already familiar with artists such as Frank Zappa, John Zorn and the English group Henry Cow. It’s a music bursting with harmonies, sound effects and fractures, that clears the air and explodes the ears. Further details will be given in the interview with Guy Segers that follows on Wednesday. – Claudy Jalet, JAZZMANIA

Guy Segers blijft een buitenbeentje in de Belgische scene. Als labelbaas van Carbon 7 stak hij indertijd zijn nek uit en bracht de eerste cd’s uit van Aka Moon. Momenteel is hij nog steeds bassist en componist zoals bijvoorbeeld bij het collectief Eclectic Maybe Band waar hij de centrale spil vormt en waarvan de derde cd vorig jaar verscheen maar onder onze radar bleef (dank u Brexit). Een inhaalmaneuver. ‘Again Alors?’ omvat een compilatie van diverse opnamen op uiteenlopende plekken met maar liefst 21 namen die de revue passeren in acht verschillende combinaties. Rode draad hierbij is improvisatie, nu eens aan de hand van composities aangereikt door Segers, dan weer een collectief gebeuren van begin tot einde. Groepsnaam en cd-titel wijzen onverbloemd in de richting van een surrealistisch gevoel voor humor Magritte waardig. Alternatieve ondertitel zou kunnen zijn ‘Ceci n’est pas du jazz’. Jazz zit er dus wel degelijk in maar dan uitgetekend in heel verwrongen patronen. Dat alle betrokken muzikanten in de werelden van prog, fusion, hedendaags klassiek, rock en jazz sporen nalieten, heeft daar een en ander mee te maken. Laten we niet vergeten dat Guy Segers zelf enkele spraakmakende albums maakte met cultgroep Univers Zero. Openingstrack ‘Disquiet’ (een compositie van Segers) laat de luisteraar aanvankelijk rondzweven in de stilte van een onbekende kosmos waarin langzaam herkenbare geluidscontouren opduiken die neigen naar prog. Er ontwikkelt zich een “brave new world” in de vorm van een soort suite voortgedreven door een amalgaam van instrumenten (fagot, fluit, saxofoons, gitaar, viool, toetsen, cello, drums). Meest opvallende stoorzender hier is gitarist Angel Ontalva die gretig om zich heen krast en kerft. Chaos maar wel op een gerichte manier. Vervolgens zijn parallellen met filmmuziek van John Carpenter en Japanse horrorfilms legio. Ook “industrial trance” is een van de omschrijvingen toepasbaar op al wat volgt. Over heel de lijn wordt telkens een wirwar van connecties gelegd. Muzikaal maar ook door de onderlinge links van de muzikanten zoals bijvoorbeeld tussen vocaliste Carla Diratz, gitarist Pascal Vaucel, klarinettist Martin Archer en het label Discus. Bij elk nummer de namen van de muzikanten vernoemen zou ons te ver leiden. Deze info is terug te vinden op de hoes. Laat het volstaan om te weten dat ze allen op dezelfde golflengte zitten en de drang naar het zoeken van extremen hun energiebron is. Wel te verstaan zonder in een richtingloze of oeverloze “art for art’s sake” te verzanden. Dit is het derde album van een collectief dat er anno 2023 in slaagt om verrassend uit de hoek te komen zonder aberrante etikettering. Ze positioneren zich bewust aan de kantlijn en bieden van daar “package tours” aan naar onbekende sonische bestemmingen. Met de medewerking van onder meer Pierre Bernard, Roland Binet, Joe Higham, Dave Newhouse, Cécile Broché, Michel Delville, Kazuyuki Kishino en natuurlijk Guy Segers zelf. Eclectisch? Zeker en vast en dit door een visie te koppelen aan technisch vernuft. Guy Segers als de Belgische Bill Laswell. Absolute aanrader. – Georges Tonla Briquet https://www.jazzhalo.be/reviews/cdlpk7-reviews/e/eclectic-maybe-band-again-alors

Eclectic Maybe Band é a banda mutante de Guy Segers. Precisa apresentar o rapaz? Baixista do Univers Zéro, Present, GuruManiAx e participações diversas. Ele é o da cadeira de rodas da capa do Heresie! Não, ele não tem problemas para andar, é só humor mesmo! Aliás, o nome da banda é uma tirada em homenagem ao Jimi Hendrix, e Electric Lady Land! Desta vez, a banda reuniu músicos do Univers Zéro (3), Art Zoyd (1), The Muffins (1), October Equus (1) e diversos músicos da Bélgica e da Europa. Como funciona o método de trabalho da Eclectic Maybe Band? Estúdio, improvisos ou gravam temas que Guy compôs. Guy manda os arquivos para o pessoal que não está na Bélgica, que adicionam suas partes, ele volta sozinho para o estúdio e dá uma de Teo Macero, montando e recortando partes para, assim, CRIAR as versões finais das músicas. O resultado final varia entre free-fusion, dark chamber jazz, jazz de vanguarda e sei lá mais o que. O resultado final, o que importa, é sempre bom! A música é muito criativa e super interessante. Influências de Univers Zéro existem, Hendrix, Magic Band, Zappa, King Crimson, em seus momentos de improvisos mais insanos, jazz, jazz belga, todo pessoal do free jazz e da música contemporânea. Aquele jeito belga de fazer música. Os improvisos têm de tudo, desenvolvimentos intrincados, evoluções que nos remetem a neblinas musicais, belos solos, como o de violino em Voici, Voilá, ou o de guitarra e sax em Disquet, por exemplo. Um dos pontos altos é A Beast Trophy, composição na qual Guy trabalha há alguns anos, muito boa, intrincada e com belo desenvolvimento. Algo entre o progressivo e o jazz. Eu gostaria, no entanto, ter um baterista na faixa, ao invés de Guy na bateria virtual. Mesmo assim, a composição é fantástica. Disquiet é uma composição que poderia estar em um disco do Univers Zéro, tem o clima e o desenvolvimento para isso, mesmo com uma parte mais free no final, mas …. chama atenção logo na abertura do CD e tem abertura e solos chocantes. Atomos Keyhole é um solo de baixo sobre um ensaio fantasmagórico. Algo que muda aqui, para quem conhece Guy apenas no Univers Zéro e Present, é o som do baixo. Nessas bandas, Guy usa sempre um som pesado e intenso, que eu costumo descrever como: um viking tocando baixo. Em Eclectic Maybe Band, Guy usa um som mais refinado, explorando as notas mais agudas, ele é mais rápido, mostra grande técnica e agilidade. Banda fantástica só pode produzir um trabalho muito interessante e de excelente qualidade. – Renato Moraes, PROG BRAZIL https://www.progbrasil.com.br/ExibeResenhas.php?eID=1918&fbclid=IwAR34ujQ4Giuo1VvMIxOoZXfauA0qrGmuLyg-LAS1kP5DrcYlpfX8jnzkyRs

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