[Review] Minimum Vital – Air Caravan

Minimum Vital are a French Prog group active since the mid-1980s. They released 8 studio albums, the latest of which “Air Caravan” released for Musea Records on December 17, 2019. The band’s original sound is a mix of Neo Prog with Fusion inserts and traditional Southern European music. The opening track “La Compagnie” is a short song with a Folk atmosphere and cheerful tones. “Air Caravan” is the title track, with positive melodies in Neo Prog style, the keyboards guide the sound between tempo changes that end with an ending with traditional instruments and voices. “Preludium tarantella” introduces us and guides us with Mediterranean instruments and percussion to “Tarantelle,” a song that alternates Prog moments with medieval inserts. The tempo changes are continuous and in the second part the intensity increases, giving life to a piece pulled with an excellent hammond and synth that play on the notes. At the end there is room for a good guitar and synth solo that intertwine. “King Guru” has characteristics closer to the 70s Prog, with a solid rhythmic session and a cheerful vocal. The sound here is harder and more intricate, with the keyboards starring. A calm and spoken intro starts “Le Fol” and then turns into a song with Fusion hues. The technique here is expressed to the fullest between drawn rhythms and rapid musical excursions, one of the best songs on the album. “Sliman” is guided by the synth, maintaining the Fusion imprinting, mixed with Arabic melodies and Neo Prog shades. “Vole / Voyageur immobile” is a more traditional passage to which is added the electric guitar, for large acoustic sections, another excellent test. “Jonglerie” is a short song with marching rhythm and duet on guitar and organ. “El picador” in the first part develops a nice theme with traditional instruments, which in the second part turns into Prog / Fusion. The melodies of the Mediterranean blend perfectly with modern instruments and in the end the intensity increases with the electric guitar. “Djin Alzawat” has a cheerful rhythm and melody, it is the longest song on the album and in its continuous changes and in the intertwining of medieval and modern it contains all its beauty. A track that summarizes the sound of the band which in its length leaves room for expression to all their pleasant influences. “Nimbus” is a short passage between keyboards, woodwinds and drum that leads us to the final “Huges le loup”. After an intro with layers of voices, a sung and Funky-toned song with remarkable synth inserts comes to life, a little different from the others, demonstrating the many good ideas contained here. A good album, pleasant and original, as Minimum Vital has accustomed us. The different styles merge, creating something unique, technically high leveled, elaborate but accessible. An album with sounds tending to Fusion, forays into traditional music on a Neo Prog basis, absolutely recommended.

Tracklist

1. La Compagnie (2:01)
2. Air Caravan’ (5:16)
3. Praeludium Tarentella (1:14)
4. Tarentelle (5:59)
5. King Guru (4:17)
6. Le Fol (4:44)
7. Sliman (5:25)
8. Vole (voyageur Immobile) (4:16)
9. Jongleries (2:16)
10. El Picador (5:13)
11. Djin Alzawat (6:12)
12. Nimbus (2:10)
13. Hugues Le Loup (5:30)

Lineup

Jean Luc Payssan / Guitars, Percussion, Vocals
Eric Rebeyrol / Bass, Horn
Thierry Payssan / Keyboards, Percussion, Vocals
Charly Berna / Drums

Minimum Vital |Official Website|Facebook Page|Spotify|

Musea Records |Official Website|acebook Page|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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