Scented Gardens Of The Mind: This band came from Nice on the French South-coast, where they formed at a high school as early as 1969. Initially influenced by British progressive rock, Carpe Diem (Latin expression = 'to seize the moment') gradually developed a new French musical consciousness along with other pioneering groups such as Alice and Ange. In 1971 they recorded a demo single and pressed up a few copies for friends. At this point the group already played a lot of live performances. The line-tip on their two albums came together in late 1974 when they decided to turn professional. A year later Carpe Diem was signed to Arcane (later forced to change their name to Crypto for legal reasons) and recorded their first album at Antibes-Azurville Studios in August 1975.
Here they played refined symphonic rock with hints of ECM jazz and chamber rock. Those unfamilar with the French rock scene may compare them to Camel, Yes and Genesis, but Carpe Diem are more similar to domestic groups such as Ange, Pentacle, Mona Lisa, Pulsar, Wapassou and Atoll. The most striking features of the Carpe Diem sound were the combinations of soprano sax and keyboards (mostly manipulated organ and synthesizers). Most tracks were very long (10-13 minutes) with just very brief vocal parts. Some may find their intricate instrumental arrangements a bit long-winded, overshadowing the musicians' spontaneous carte blanche (or even carpe diem), even if it was always done with great care.
Cueille Le Jour (1977) continued in the same direction, featuring perhaps their greatest composition "Couleurs", a 22-minute suite of 5 different stages. The second side of the album contained 5 separate tracks of greater variety. Carpe Diem had great ambitions for a proposed third album, but it only appeared as a demo. The band fell out with Crypto for financial reasons, hoping for more lucrative offers from other companies. With the advent of punk and new wave this didn't happen. When their live engagements also dried up, they decided to split up. They left us two albums which are always good but never really brillant. They are indispensable for anyone into French rock, but a more optional choice for others
01. Reincarnation 3:51
02. Jeux Du Siecle 12:53
03. Voyage Du Non - Retour 10:13
04. Publiphobie 9:54
Christian Truchi / keyboards and vocals
Gilbert Abbenanti / guitar
Alain Berge / bass
Alain Faraut / drums
Claude-Marius David / flute, sopransaxophon and percussion
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