In october 2004 Rouge Ciel recorded their second album that is now available through Monsieur Fauteux m’entendez-vous?. Their debut cd dates from 2001 and received a good press. The violin player of this group, Guido del Fabbro, released a solo album in 2003. Del Fabbro started Rouge Ciel in 1996 together with Antonin Provost. In the early years they were inspired by jazz-rock, ECM, etc. In more recent years they developed their own version of instrumental ‘chamber’ rock that brings to mind the artrock of earlier generations like Henry Cow, Debile Menthol, Conventum, Smala, etc. Not that Rouge Ciel is a retro band. Absolutely not, although there a few moments on the cd where the compositional form sounds is a little outdated. But the overall impression is that we have here a fresh new blend of folk, rock, jazz and other influences. Most pieces are heavily composed, but there are also a few short improv-like pieces (Bond précisionnel 1-4) on this album. But one could say that this band is an exponent of the resurrection of ‘art-rock’ who are developing it further into new directions. This makes Rouge Ciel, a quartet of young musicians, a promising band.
The band consists of Guido del Fabbro (violin, acoustic and electric 5-string violin, prepaped violin, turntable, electonics, octave mandolin), Simon Lapointe (piano, keyboards, prepared piano), Antonin Provost (electric and acoustic piano), Némo Venba (drums, trumpet, flugelhorn, percussion). Because all of them are multi-instrumentalists the music is rich and diverse in sound. The playing is convincing and very enjoyable. Rouge Ciel delivers a very good follow up to their first one. I hope it will not take another three year for their third one.