PASCAL COMELADE – Le Rocanrolorama Abrégé – LP2+CD limited – BEC5156812


A1 / Arthur Cravan Was A Flor Fina
A2 / The Blank Invasion Of Schizofonics Bikinis
A3 / La Société Du Piano-Obstacle
A4 / Sardana Dels Desemparats
A5 / Il Luna-Park Galactico
A6 / Paganini Paga Tot A Nono
B1 / Le Fakir De La Chapelle
B2 / The Nothing Twist
B3 / El Misteri Del Triangle Del Vermut
B4 / Rue Des Soeurs Noires
B5 / Europe Change Bad
B6 / Despintura (A) Fònica
C1 / Stranger In Paradigm
C2 / Sense El Ressó Del Dring
C3 / I Put A Barbara Steele On You
C4 / Patafisiskal Polska
C5 / El Pianista Del Antifaz
C6 / Vals Burlesco
D1 / Hydropathes Marchant Sur Les Os
D2 / The Halucinogenic Espontex Sinfonia
D3 / Spinoza Was A Soul Garagist
D4 / The Skatalan Logicofobism
D5 / Sans Les Mains !
D6 / Ha Passat Un Angel
1 / Arthur Cravan Was A Flor Fina / 2:15
2 / The Blank Invasion Of Schizofonics Bikinis / 3:02
3 / La Société Du Piano-Obstacle / 3:44
4 / Sardana Dels Desemparats / 3:28
5 / Il Luna-Park Galactico / 3:14
6 / Paganini Paga Tot A Nono / 1:00
7 / Le Fakir De La Chapelle / 2:48
8 / The Nothing Twist / 1:56
9 / El Misteri Del Triangle Del Vermut / 2:56
10 / Rue Des Soeurs Noires / 1:30
11 / Europe Change Bad / 4:19
12 / Despintura (A) Fònica / 3:40
13 / Stranger In Paradigm / 2:53
14 / Sense El Ressó Del Dring / 4:05
15 / I Put A Barbara Steele On You / 1:28
16 / Patafisiskal Polska / 3:39
17 / El Pianista Del Antifaz / 2:33
18 / Vals Burlesco / 1:58
19 / Hydropathes Marchant Sur Les Os / 2:27
20 / The Halucinogenic Espontex Sinfonia / 3:27
21 / Spinoza Was A Soul Garagist / 2:07
22 / The Skatalan Logicofobism / 5:04
23 / Sans Les Mains ! / 2:06
24 / Ha Passat Un Angel / 2:28

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In a career that has spanned more than four decades, French pianist and composer Pascal Comelade has collaborated with musicians such as Robert Wyatt, Faust and PJ Harvey. But his own music, which has barely escaped his homeland, doesn’t exactly sound like the company he keeps. Le Rocanrolorama Abrégé (The Abbreviated Rockandrollorama) is a single-disc condensation of a nearly comprehensive six-disc boxed set released last year, and it presents the charming if sometimes twee work of a musical eccentric who walks on the edge of whimsy and experimentation.


Collecting music originally recorded between 1993 and 2016, the anthology glosses over Comelade’s penchant for unusual covers (look for his fragment of a “Sunny Afternoon” or his tinny “Sex Machine”), but it still shows the range of an artist who likes to explore, from one-minute fragments like “Paganini Paga Tot a Nono” to more ambitious five-minute pieces such as “The Skatalan Logicofobism,” which sounds like it comes from the soundtrack to Fellini’s unfinished epic about a flea circus. Despite its arch and mostly uncommercial bent, a kind of arthouse sentimentality comes through. This is crowd-pleasing music in search of the right crowd. Comelade sounds like he’d know how to craft a hit if he had to: the retro groove of “Spinoza Was a Soul Garagist” is just begging to be used in an ad campaign for a brightly colored sports car.

There’s nothing here as perfect as his lo-fi version of Serge Gainsbourg’s “Harley Davidson,” or Wyatt’s haunting vocal on Comelade’s “September Song,” a match made in some heavenly run-down café on a cobblestone street. Le Rocanrolorama Abrégé essentially sounds like hip coffeeshop music, but I doubt you could find a café outside of Comelade’s native Catalan that would play it; maybe if you slip this into the queue at your neighborhood chain, nobody will be the wiser, and it will make that double latte go down with a little more drama.

Pat Padua / Spectrum Culture

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