Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Jean-François Pauvros & Gaby Bizien - No Man's Land (1976)

Nicely unhinged one-off collaboration between two lesser-known figures of the French avant-garde, guitarist Pauvros and percussionist Bizien.  Both put in brief appearances with Jac Berrocal, but a few years prior to that they released No Man's Land together.  The fact that practically the first sound you hear on this LP is a tuba being played underwater might tell you all you need to know about an album like this, but there's lots of nice little oddities beside that are worth a listen.

The main mode of operation is generally echoed/speed shifted/otherwise mutated bits of guitar from Pauvros (occasionally bringing Fred Frith to mind) and free percussion from Bizien, as in the opening title track, Barre D'Etel and Dr Livingstone I Presume.  Elsewhere, the more audio-verite free improvs of Plage De Bling sound like a sort of Berrocal/Tazartès hybrid, and Bizien gets to work on some nice melodic percussion on Gloire A L'Aeropostale while Pauvros swishes away in the background.  Wish they'd done another couple of records together to develop this sound, but No Man's Land is a great rewarding listen for its uniqueness.



  1. This is pretty stellar! Do you by chance have Kessler & Pauvros' PHENIX 14? I believe it was at Mutant Sounds back in the day but I showed up late for the party. Glad I was on time for this one; thx!

  2. Different Perspectives have got that one:

  3. Thanks for posting this. Such a great LP; I have the reissue on vinyl, but really wanted a digital copy. Also thanks to Alan for pointing the way to another great record that Jean-François Pauvros had a hand or two in.

  4. I first heard Pauvros the same eve I heard unrelated French troubadours Regrelh, which includes a few outré bits. You wouldn't happen to know where that might be obtained digitally (besides youtube), might you? Had to ask.

    1. 'fraid I don't know about that one, but certainly sounds intriguing on youtube. I'll keep an eye out for it.