Anthology Recordings is pleased to announce the reissue of the long out of print -- and never before officially issued in the US -- trilogy of albums by Catherine Ribeiro + Alpes, 1970's N°2, 1971's Âme Debout, and 1972's Paix. Anthology's presentation of these foundational LPs, arguably the group's finest hours on wax, fills in a crucial missing link in the canon of psychedelic and experimental music of the 60s and 70s. In a lineage with other uncompromising women singers such as Edith Piaf, Nico, and Diamanda Galas, Ribeiro's is a sound of possession, of ritual. Her approach shares more with performance art than it does with pop music. It's the sound of love and madness and political tumult, stripped bare and emerged from dark recesses. With her weighty voice, she emphasized expression and meaning over immaculate, adventurous musicality. Each LP includes its own insert featuring photos and original press material culled from Ribeiro's personal archive. Limited first run of 750.
"The first album by the French group Catherine Ribeiro+Alpes was the oddly named “No. 2.” Titled as such to tie-in with their previous incarnation as the short-lived Catherine Ribeiro+2 Bis, after this lineup recorded their sole effort for Festival Records, Ribeiro and husband Patrice Moullet disbanded 2 Bis and reassembled as the re-named Catherine Ribeiro+Alpes with the addition of Denis Cohen on percussion and organ. What they achieved as a trio was light years ahead of 2 Bis for “No. 2” sounds the result of an ensemble far larger, stronger, wiser and prone to experimentation. With the playing field emptied of their earlier folk-rock ruminations, Moullet was allowed to impose an uncompromised musical vision with his own self-made instruments. Yielding previously unheard sounds, they assisted in building up repetitive layers of rhythmic motifs to provide contrast to Ribeiro’s vocals, located in a similar no-woman’s zone as Nico’s on her then-recent album, “The Marble Index.” Perhaps it was their shared past lives as actresses (Nico in Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita,” Ribeiro in Godard’s “Les Carabiners”) eternal expatriate outsiders (the German-born Nico relocating to New York City and many points in Europe while Ribeiro was born in Lyon, France to working class Portuguese parents) or the drama of their existences as young and strikingly beautiful European artistes coming of age during the chaos of the sixties/seventies cusp -- A chaos they both navigated with more than a great degree of poise and forbearance." taken from Julian Cope's Headheritage extensive review
Ame Debout breaks much new ground for 1971, with Alpes joined by Gong keyboardist Patrice Lemoine and his bassist brother Jean-Sébastien. Rather than trying to fuse recognizable musical styles with vocals,Ame Debout illustrates Alpes's relationship with Ribeiro as something instantly more elemental and complicated. The music launches immediately into a radical sound world of acoustic guitar, bass, stabbing and soaring organ, scuttling percuphone, and celestial cosmophone. The album retains a repetition stretched across tracks and time that shifts ever so slightly but rarely responds directly to Ribeiro's vocals. The band's instrumental work drifts hazily beneath Ribeiro's swells, supporting her harmonically but never displaying enough ego to act as anything other than a platform for her existential angst, as if to conjure her id onto tape. These elements converge on Ame Debout, transforming a largely improvised combination of instrumentation and vocals into the utmost emotional expression.