Robin & The Woods are a band originally from Bordeaux, France that offers a 70s inspired Progressive Rock with strong contemporary Jazz influences. The quintet released their debut album “Moonfall” on April 2, 2021 from which a single “Dark Water Falls” had been pulled a couple of years earlier. The compositional and executive technique of the band is of a high level, giving the plots very interesting developments, at times very elaborate but always accessible to the listener. The album opens with “Collapse” which begins with soft jazzy plots and interweaving between winds and guitar, a soft intro that gently introduces us to the next songs on the album. “Cello Man” always presents delicate plots initially, and then increases the intensity with the passage of the song, highlighting the winds. Deep bass lines, a very elaborate structure with intricate phrasing, but very smooth with a thick rhythmic session. The central part is powerful with the input of the electric guitar and a more Prog part, with strong Jazz tones, the combination of the two genres is perfect and the band shows both style and excellent quality. The third track “Dark Water Falls” features dreamy acoustic guitar arpeggios and a soft rhythmic session, with pleasant inserts of horns. The development is very elaborate, with a percussive part where the winds are enhanced, enriched by very involving intricate passages that capture the attention of the listener guiding him through their intense musical journey. Here, too, the intensity increases with the passage of the song, which in the second part shows again the more Progressive side of their sound, and then in the end it becomes softer and softer. Here we are at the first and longest chapter of the “Fractales” suite divided into three parts “Fractales – Ouvertures” which begins with atmospheric noises and a deep bass. The guitar and the winds duet contrasting the distortion of the first with the softness of the winds, one of the winning features of the song and of the whole album. Enriched by constant tempo changes and well-structured and performed solo inserts, with the band that always manages to keep itself in balance between Prog and Jazz without ever exceeding in one or the other genre. The suite continues with the second part “La Fabrique du Trouble – Fractales 2” where the winds are the protagonists right away, with enveloping melodies and valuable solo inserts. It is the shortest part of the suite but perhaps the most intricate, always remaining engaging and flowing with the intensity that increases and decreases according to the tempo changes. The third part concludes the suite “Reflets sur l’eau qui dort – Fractales 3” which gives continuity to the musical discourse undertaken in the previous section. The intertwining of guitar and winds, the cornerstone of their sound, where the layers overlap, creating engaging melodies, are always of fine workmanship. This pleasant suite ends with a prolonged solo of winds. “Dying Stars Suicide Club” has more jazzy than rock features, with plots closer to the masters of the genre, calling to mind improvisation. Very intricate the structure and the solo inserts, this song shows all the individual and group technique of this band. The reference to the masters of the Canterbury Scene is inevitable, with a contemporary and personal touch that makes this an excellent song, with contamination of multiple genres and winning styles. “Eyjafjallajökull” this track with a difficult to pronounce title has an experimental beginning and then aligns with the previous songs, mixing Prog and Jazz with the unique touch given by the band. After a soft initial section, increase the intensity in the central part with a successful tempo change, which brings the sound to much more Prog textures, with that touch of Jazzy experimentation that increases the level. Full of tempo changes and with the winds in great evidence both in the melodic and solo phase, this is another very well performed piece, one of the best on the album. The longest track and title-track of the album “Moonfall,” which exceeds 8 minutes in duration, begins with a pleasant intertwining between guitar and winds of a 1970s Jazz Prog matrix. Very rhythmic in the rhythmic session, and enriched by tempo changes that increase and decrease the intensity in the various passages, alternating heavier sections with softer ones. Very well structured this is an excellent summary of the sound edlla band, concentrated in 8 minutes and a little more. A very pleasant disc to listen to, full of ideas and elaborate plots that capture the listener’s attention, remaining in balance between Prog and Jazz with technique and quality. Close to the sounds of the Canterbury Scene, this band offers an entirely instrumental album of exquisite workmanship, where the winds dominate the scene. A listening recommended to all lovers of the more jazzy sounds of Prog, with references to both the ’70s and contemporary artists always with their own personal touch. Always a pleasure to discover and be able to collaborate with bands like these, which show how the most elaborate music still has representatives of a certain level.
|03.||Dark Water Falls||07:54|
|04.||Fractales – Ouvertures||06:03|
|05.||La Fabrique du Trouble – Fractales 2||03:12|
|06.||Reflets sur l’eau qui dort – Fractales 3||04:00|
|07.||Dying Stars Suicide Club||07:36|
|Jérôme Masco||Tenor Sax and Compositions|
|Robin Jolivet||Guitar and Compositions|