Fractale – Suranné

This is a short but wonderful EP that can be easily loved by any progressive rock fan.

And it is not common that I start with a phrase like that, actually I would finish my review with it, but this time I did it the other way around because I have truly enjoyed this album every single time I’ve listened to it, and believe me, there have been at least 10 so far. Fractale is the project of French sax player Julian Julien, who with the help of some friends and of course high-quality musicians have created a wonderful mixture of rock fusion with spacey textures.

This EP entitled “Suranné” consists of five live pieces which does not really have a name, and two bonus tracks. Actually, and it is worth mentioning, this is like a taste of Fractale’s sound, since Julien have created a bunch of songs that can (and should) be listened in a row, without any distraction, in order to have the feeling of being reading a book or watching a movie, I mean, the images created by the music are countless, all depends on the listener.

“Suranné” sadly is pretty short, I always have that empty space where I am asking for more, but as I said, this is only a taste of their sound, and what a taste! It opens with “Partie XV”, and since the fist seconds we will listen to that jazz oriented sound, with lots of wind instruments, percussion and synthesizers. The music is really friendly; it will put a smile on you, and surely will make you move your body. I cannot help but enjoying it.

“Partie VI” has a slower rhythm, but it is full of atmospheres and spacey effects that in moments remind me of Daevid Allen’s Gong. This also sounds like an improvisation, and it is the shortest piece of the album. “Partie V” is wonderful, with a rich blend of winds and electronic elements that together create new images, atmospheres and nuances. The different trumpets and saxophones do not really sound jammed, them all sound clean and clear, one can easily recognize each one of them. This is one of my favorite tracks!

With “Partie XVI” the band follows the same line, but this time they have quite an addictive sound. The name of Gong springs to my mind once again, which does not mean I am comparing them, not at all, but they might have been an influence. You will have four minutes of addiction, of craziness and adventure, but the sad thing is that it all of a sudden finishes, when you are totally caught by its sound.

The concert part finishes with “Partie XVIII” which is another cool song, but with a slower and more melancholic sound, like announcing the end. I would have really loved to hear more of this bunch of live parts, it would be a complete trip.

The last two additional songs are “Sans Papiers” and “Clementine” which together make the final ten minutes of this EP. The road is practically the same, cool and addictive rhythms, excellent blend of jazz with space and electronic elements; wonderful winds and constant drums.

What a pity it ends so soon, but well, the only thing I can do is waiting for a full-length release and why not, to see them live someday. Highly recommendable!

Enjoy it!


1. Partie XV  (2:57) *
2. Partie VI (2:04) *
3. Partie V (5:09) *
4. Partie XVI (4:31) *
5. Partie XVIII (2:45) *
6. Sans papiers live at the Sunset (Bonus Track)  (4:32) +
7. Clémentine (Bonus Track) (5:22) +


- Julian Julien / alto sax
- Vivien Philippot / tenor sax
- Patrice Cazeneuve / trompet
- Jennifer Quillet / trompet
- Jon Lopez de Vicuna / electric sax
- Lorenz Steinmueller, electric tube
- Benjamin Vairon / drums

- Michael Havard / soprano sax
- Yann Lupu / trompet
- Laurent Dessaints / electric sax
- Xavier Sibre / clarinet
- François Favreau / drums

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