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William C. Altreuter
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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Reading about this guy's lost vinyl collection made me sad. My own holdings are nothing like as vast, although I was diligent in amassing my collection. Even so, I never even knew there was an M. Frog Labat album. Why was this kept from me? When it was released Rolling Stone reviewed it:

M. Frog is the initial offering from a would-be French monk turned musician named Jean Yves Labat. Admittedly, France has never stood out as a major force in the rock music world, and M. Frog will do little to change this, but the album at least merits attention as a curiosity in a field rarely lacking such things. It is basically a synthesizer album, but Labat notates his musical scores not by note, but by an arrangement of multicolored squares placed side by side on a linear graph. Six full pages of this brilliant technologia are offered as inducement to sale, and they're quite neat to gawk at while listening to something else. The music itself runs the familiar gamut from synthijazz to the usual electronic mysterioso- cosmic space stuff - all of it competent but hardly innovative. If you're an electronic music freak, however, you might enjoy it, and it'll probably be in the delete sections of your record store within the year. Worth anything up to two bucks."

How did I miss this review? Rolling Stone was good in 1974! Even if the M. Frog Labat record wasn't! $48 bucks seems like a lot, especially when you can download all of the eleven tracks for .99 cents each, but the packaging seems critical. Actually, this is the kind of thing that has to be acquired on vinyl-- a jewel boxed CD wouldn't cut it.

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