... this album has in certain circles attained mythical status among prog / jazz purists. Originally appearing in 1975 it was the culmination of a musical learning curve that had led to a young aspiring Paris born musician Kalma to visit India to learn and absorb the native techniques to melody. The resulting album was the by product of that period of self growth and realisation.... The re-mastered opus by Ariel Kalma is a truly certifiable lost gem from the backwaters of prog’s rich and sometimes wayward forgotten tapestry.
Fusing traditionalist sounds with modern techniques such as cross loops, faders, various effects, electronic instrumentation and elements of dub, legend has it that Kalma ran out of money after the recording and pressing sessions producing an initial batch of a thousand copies all without printed sleeves, taking an armful of blank sleeves he resorted to literally personalising designs and numbering the first batch simply by drawing around his hand. Safe to say these early additions are eagerly sought after. In addition the album is marked out historically for the original vinyl pressings locked groove on the run out which by all accounts led to tales of turntable motors giving up the ghost and stylus’ going blunt.
The resulting sound of ‘les temps des moissons’ is one of a delirious feast of tripping tapestry, a culminating hybrid of naturalised world music put through an exotic snake charming psych jazz blender, and though the word ‘world’ may well – if your like me – put the fear of dread into your potential listening prospects then fear not. Rather more Kalma crafts a heady mind bending odyssey that loosely draws the spiritual dots between Fahey and Zorn (though check out the abstract freeform cosmic grooves of the wig flipped Sun Ra like ‘voyage reternelle‘), a richly textured cultural and aural account that is rewardingly highlighted by the seductive fusion of the old with the new. Principally a Saxophone score (you’ll find harmonium and didgeridoo arrangements interspersed throughout – the latter provided for by the hazily side winding flotillas of flutes / harps ‘fast road to nowhere‘ – Volcano the Bear gone Australasian perhaps) he sumptuously captures the mystical mystery of the middle east in all its vivid kaleidoscopic glory whilst simultaneously providing what can only be referred to as an intoxicating meditative mantra sublimely traversing across five unique sultry vistas.
“Le Temps Des Moissons” was first released in 1975 after Ariel Kalma visited India to study modal singing and music. Now remastered and re-released, the album features two additional unreleased tracks recorded during the same sessions.
The original vinyl release of “Le Temps Des Moissons” was one of the first to feature a locked groove at the end of side two, something that is replicated here in the form of several minutes of looped music. Kalma’s music is a fusion of ancient and modern styles combining saxophone, ethnic instruments, effects, electric instruments and electronic filters. Often giving the impression that it was created and improvised as it was recorded, ““Le Temps des Moissons” has a loose free form structure that gives it a sense of freedom and natural unplanned feel as illustrated with “Bakafrica”. “Voyage Reternelle” is somewhat more structured; a discrete drone is placed over layered saxophones with a vintage drum machine providing a simple rhythm. The almost 17 minute title track reflects his Indian influences of the time while “Fast Road To Nowhere” has a distinct ethnic sound, although not Indian, featuring mouth harp, flute and chanting that conjures images of Aboriginal tribes although it is based on a Middle Eastern melody. Closing the album as it began is the almost 17 minute “Reternelle”; a hypnotic track featuring an undulating looped drone and a pair of saxophones echoing each other.
Kalma experiments with electronic equipment, fusing the old with the new and focusing his experiments around the saxophone. For an album released some 33 years ago, “Le Temps des Moissons” is at times a completely absorbing creation that takes traditional instruments and does something fascinating with them. The saxophone content will not be to everyone’s taste but it must have been way ahead of its time when it came out and still holds a captivating sense of experimentation to this day.
by Ryan Sparks on Sea of Tranquility
Born and raised in Paris, France Ariel Kalma began his musical journey at a young age when he first discovered the recorder and the saxophone. After traveling extensively and playing in numerous bands he found himself in India in the mid 70's studying the finer techniques of modal music and circular breathing which were taught to him by a snake charmer. He has released eleven records over the course of his career which has spanned over thirty years, and now a long overdue reissue of his first album Le Temps Des Moissons, recorded in 1975 just might give him the recognition he so rightly deserves.
This fantastic collection of music, dubbed as electronica ragas of the 70's features a veritable plethora of Kalma's powerful and at times raw sounding saxophone work. With the steady drones of a harmonium providing a static anchor, Ariel weaves his treated sax lines in and out, back and forth, adding copious amounts of delay and at times what sounds like a wah-wah effect to achieve a hypnotic, trance like feeling. This remaster not only shimmers sonically but it also features two tracks originally recorded around the same time period that were not included on the original LP.
The disc begins with the title track which is an epic sixteen minute aural journey that is based around an endless amount of inventive, sharp sounding, and heavily delayed sax which gives the listener the impression they are listening to one long, ripple effect. This track is absolutely mesmerizing. "Backafrica" is up next with its loose sounding African percussion and heaping amounts of afro-funk. This song is surely one Miles Davis would have loved to have counted amongst his arsenal on his early 70's forays into funk and Indian music, such as On The Corner in 1972. "Voyage Reternelle" and the final track "Reternelle" sound like they were culled from the same source. These two compositions find Ariel 'returning' to the main hypnotic, trance inducing themes first introduced on the title track, via his extensive use of delay. "Fast Road To Nowhere" is a short, relaxing composition that utilizes only the meditative sounds of a mouth harp and flute to construct the gentle melodies.
Before getting this disc I have to admit that I had never had the pleasure of being exposed to this man's immense musical talent. I have played Le Temps Des Moissons repeatedly over the past few months and each time I listened to it I swear I heard something that I had missed previously. Music doesn't get much better than that, when each time you return to it, it has the ability to offer you a fresh new perspective. Some thirty years after it was originally recorded Le Temps Des Moissons still sounds remarkably fresh and dare I say even cutting edge .
1) Le Temps Des Moissons
3) Voyage Reternelle
4) Fast Road To Nowhere
'Flagrant' on iTunes:
Le Temps des moissons, Ariel Kalma's first record alternates from cyclical saxophone drone piece to an improvised delayed out pshych forest jam and concludes with a more ambient composed tape contruction + 2 additional tracks that were not on the vinyl release. The third piece is I think where it comes together. The delayed out saxophones weave in and out over a drone, then an organ machine rhythm kicks in half way through giving it a mysterious spectral groove quality. On the original vinyl the last track ended in a lock grove that would play on indefinitely which is the perfect conclusion. Some of the lock groove was left on the CD to simulate the effect.
Charles Van de Kree , Aural Innovations #40
Prophets, as the old cliché goes, are never accepted in their own country. Such a remark aptly describes the scant but seminal recorded output of France's Ariel Kalma who's labored in comparative obscurity for over thirty years now. But to the initiated he's a genuine, albeit unacknowledged, innovator, a harbinger of a kind of space age tribal sound long before Eno and Byrne had ever dreamed of the exotic possibilities that made My Life in the Bush of Ghosts a trendy avant-garde curio back in 1981.
His two 70's albums (1978's Osmose followed Le temps) are stunning evocations of a music that knows no cultural-indeed no terrestrial-boundaries. Like Jon Hassell, whose Vernal Equinox (1977) Le temps resembles in many ways, Kalma transmutes a more or less traditional musical instrument into something rich and strange. His heavily effected sax squeaks, squawks, wails and whines with all the spiritual intensity of a Native American shaman howling at the summer moon from the peak of a ghostly mesa.
Perhaps now with this much overdue reissue of his first album, Kalma will start to receive some belated recognition as a progenitor of a form of music that today passes for everything from New Age to ambient to jungle to trance. Kalma himself certainly has his influences. The lengthy title track is unquestionably indebted to Terry Riley's late 60's experiments with tape delay and harmonic repetition. Here Kalma's sax warps back in on itself, creating spectral copies that echo into infinity. The steady drone of Kalma's harmonium provides the perfect static accompaniment for his spiraling sax inventions. The overall effect is akin to some futuristic raga being played out in the steaming marshes of a mythic Venusian rain forest.
The more overtly joyous "Bakafrica" still sounds remarkably fresh and vital today but for 1975, it was both revelatory and revolutionary. An intoxicating mixture of African percussion, snaky Afro-beat guitar and Kalma's way out wah-wah sax, "Bakafrica" ushers in tribal fusion five years ahead of schedule. "Reternelle" returns the listener to the incantatory trance involutions of the title track, utilizing much of the same sound architecture (sax, tape delays, harmonium and various electronic filters) to achieve a sublime, flowing arabesque of riotous beauty-the tonal equivalent of being immersed in an ocean of quicksilver.
As with Peter Michael Hamel's amazing 70's ensemble Between, the music of Ariel Kalma is both eclectic and cathartic, drawing on the sounds of the whole earth to forge a pan-global musical consciousness that dissolves and ultimately transcends all distinctions of genre.
Robert Carlberg (Seattle) in Amazon.com:
The CD version of this release is credited to Ariel Kalma alone, rather than Ariel Kalma/Richard Tinti as in the original double LP, because the second disc of that set is not included here. That's a shame because Richard Tinti's field recordings of the Borneo jungle in 1977 remain some of the best unspoiled jungle recordings ever taken.
But the first LP disc, reissued here on CD for the first time (with 3 bonus tracks) where Kalma improvises on saxes, flute, tape loops, organ and harmonium over a backdrop of Tinti's jungle recordings, is still pretty wonderful. It's like Jon Hassell or Urban Sax in its ability to transport you to a different time & place.
Clint Listing on Heathen Harvest :
A Release from 1975 reissues from an experimental artist in a time when music like this was very experimental and almost no one would take an adventurous listen in the world over ultra avant jazz and ambient sounds. From what I am learning on Ariel Kalma he is a French born horn player and after a journey to India this release was created. You can very much hear the eastern influences going on in the horn's progression and they way that Le Temps des Moissons is layered. This must has been something John Zorn was draw to and if not I hope he will listen now an see a great work 30 yrs ago. There is a very psychedelic element to this as a whole . I really like the way the simple eastern percussion adds to the musical experience as a whole. Beta lactum Ring has really found a true gem here.
Le Temps des Moissons is not something that everyone will like. I would call this more an aural tapestry then musical release as there are very non musicial moments with Ariel Kalma. I think Mr Kalma much like Coltrane, Mingus and Bird got odd looks for there stretch of what Jazz was is very much what was going on in 1975 on the avantgarde music from for Ariel Kalma.Being that this was his 1st solo release it makes it all the more special to the listener , well to this listener anyway. As you can feel the personal connection to what Ariel Kalma is creating here.
All i know is with Le Temps des Moissons . I Now need to hear more of Ariel Kalma as this is only the begining of his 30 yr journey into aural magic. An with this taste you'll be hooked I'm sure as much as I've become if you just close your eye's open your mind a bit and see how much is really going on here. Excellent. Excellent. Excellent. Ok I think I've made my point load and clear.