Lard Free: I’m Around About Midnight – Freakout French prog-post-jazz

This is a lovely little piece of 1973 French ahead-of-its-time-ism for your listening pleasure.  This is a bit of a staple for me; one I return to time and time again, which in a world filled with music means a lot.   ok – yes it’s true, I’m un unrepentant Francophile (well inner-city-left-wing-Praiseanphile to be more accurate) so I have to declare a bias right up for your deconstructive pleasure, but if you give the two tracks I’ve planted here a bit of a listen, I bet you turn into a fan (if not fantastic) also.

This is album definitely draws a Faustian breath here.  The influences of Krautrock are instantly recognisable.  The tracks don’t have discernible beginnings and ends, this eternal looping building and falling and easing you along for the ride. This is actually Lard Free’s second album and (i have read) quite different from the first. the distinguishing difference here the repetitive synths and Tangerine Dream phasers play background solidifyer to some piano and flute. This almost reminded me of Mike Oldfield and I read around to find I wasn’t the only one. Unlike Oldfield though (or at least my experience of him) the dark somnambulant homage to jazz keeps this much more interesting, even if it is quiet around the edges.

A great review by Swan Fungus (that also got the Faust / Tangerine Dream influences) mentions the obscurity of this album in that so few French bands at the time were exploring Krautrock in this way. Check this out:

“I’m Around About Midnight” is simply a solid record from start-to-finish. I’d put it up there with some of Heldon’s best recordings, and it’s kind of awesome because how many bands other than Lard Free did France produce that pretty much played German Krautrock? I can’t think of any, can you!? Name ‘em!

This is a really nice little piece of cruizy pleasure – at least that’s how I enjoy it. It’s around and about if you like it well enough – downloads pretty available.