Stalingrad 119 – Inne Vital (2012)

Stalingrad 119 - Inne Vital (2012)
Artist: Stalingrad 119
Album: Inne Vital
Genre: Jazz-Rock, Progressive Rock
Label: self-released
Year Of Release: 2012
Quality: FLAC (tracks+.cue)

1. Hope Wagon. 5:36
2. Mek Mehr. 4:36
3. Narod Naya Volya. 4:04
4. Bois Qui Roule. 4:21
5. Billy C. 7:34
6. Polar. 5:34
7. Triton Le Méchant. 5:55
8. Lude. 4:15
9. Bomber In The Night. 6:32
10. Why-no!! 4:06


– Gentien De Bosmelet | keyboards, vocals (1,2,5,9), backing vocals (1,2,7)
– Christophe Laborde | bass, guitar (9,10)
– François Renault | drums, oboe (2,10), backing vocals (1,2,5,9)
– Samuel Maitre | lead vocals (2,3,5,7,9), soprano saxophone (2,4,5,6,8,9), bass clarinet (1,3,5,6,7,9,10), backing vocals (1)

– Brice Moscardini | trumpet (5)
– Pierre Thary | cello (4)
– François Marillier | percussion (9)
– Erwan Adam | voice (7)

STALINGRAD 119 are a Jazz/ Rock band out of France with some very minor Zeuhl references, but they certainly aren’t a Zeuhl band. They even call themselves a Jazz Rock Ensemble. This really was the highlight of my week as far as my listening pleasure goes. We get a five piece band playing sax, bass clarinet, bass, drums, guitar, oboe and keys. We do get both male and female vocals as well. Some guests add cello, percussion, trumpet and vocals. There’s so much to like here with the electric piano and the many adventerous moments. All it took was a sample of that opening track and I was all in.

“Hope Wagon” must be a train as that’s what we hear to start this song before sax and drums take over. It then settles down quickly as we get a groove of electric piano, bass and drums with the bass clarinet coming in over top. This is very trippy and jazzy as male ad female vocals arrive. So French sounding I love it! The sax is back around 2 minutes then back to that trippy sound with bass clarinet then vocals as themes are repeated. A change though around 4 1/2 minutes with spoken words, oboe and drums. Bass clarinet and a more powerful sound follows. An amazing track and my favourite.

“Mek Mehr” has a nice groove to it with electric piano over top. The vocals join in both male and female. A Zeuhl vibe here with the vocal style until the sax and smoother vocals arrive, like sunshine on a cloudy day. Hard not to bounce around to this section. Sax leads before 2 1/2 minutes then the vocals return as the sax continues. A change before 4 minutes with rough male vocals contrasted with female vocal expressions.

“Narod Naya Volya” starts out dark and sparse with atmosphere and intricate sounds. It stays this way until it comes to life after 1 1/2 minutes with the drums and bass clarinet standing out, electric piano too. Rough male vocals after 2 minutes. The sax is crying out before it ends. “Bois Que Roule” is led by the sax and drums early before a calm arrives before a minute as the bass and oboe take over with drums. Electric piano, a beat and bass follow before 1 1/2 minutes as we get a slower pace. Some cello before 2 minutes. It settles around 3 1/2 minutes with keys, drums and horns before building again to end it.

“Billy C.” is a top three for me. Some opening guest trumpet as the bass and drums support. Some electric piano too as male vocals arrive just before a minute. Sax too. The intro is reprised as themes are repeated. Sax, bass, drums and vocals take over around 2 minutes. It settles back a minute later. I really like this. It turns fuller after 5 minute and the tempo picks up. Intense stuff. A calm 6 minutes in with vocal melodies but it’s building again. Catchy is the word.

“Polar” is the one of two songs with fuzzed out bass so it’s a winner already. Drums and sax are also featured with the fuzzed out bass then we get a calm before 2 1/2 minutes as the fuzz steps aside and we get atmosphere and electric piano before the bass clarinet arrives with cymbals. Some darkness and depth 4 1/2 minutes in. So good as the electric piano and atmosphere lead to the end.

“Triton Le Mechant” opens with what sounds like sampled spoken French male words. He stops before a minute as sax then drums and bass take over. It picks up before 2 minutes and we get some male vocals here. Spoken words before 3 minutes and this time they are theatrical to say the least. Random drum patterns and atmosphere take over as electric piano and bass clarinet also join in. Some female vocal melodies and fuzzed out bass follows. Nice. More theatrical vocals follow. What an interesting track and my final top three.

“Lude” is an uptempo horn driven song and check out the bass before 1 1/2 minutes. Some rare organ on this one as well as the sax plays over top. “Bomber In The Night” should also be a top three but no room. Bass clarinet and bass to start as cymbals then drums kick in. Love the depth of sound here. Oboe around a minute. This is really good! Check out the guitar crying out before 4 minutes. Rough spoken male words follow. So intense! Vocals and a determined sound end it.

“Why?No!!” ends the album and we get this relaxed sound with guitar, a beat, electric piano, bass and sax. Some rare synths before 2 minutes. Back to that earlier sound before 3 minutes. Electric piano then leads. A pleasant song to end the album with.

Highly recommended Jazz/ Rock that is quite adventerous with some minor Zeuhl references. A must!
Review by Mellotron Storm

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