Pierre-Alain Dahan & Slim Pezin's Neo Rythmiques is an absolute KILLER Tele Music library classic from 1976. It's absolutely sensational throughout, all scorching, uptempo jazzy soul funk that Mr James Brown himself would've been envious of. This is serious business with breaks for days. French drummer, percussionist and composer Pierre-Alain Dahan was a key member of the legendary Arpadys, Disco & Co, Voyage, Tumblack (with Wally Badarou, Mallia et al!) and Jef Gilson Septet. With Neo Rhythmiques, he's joined by his eternal guitar colleague Slim Pezin (Voyage, Manu Dibango, Nino Ferrer), so you know this Be With reissue is fundamentally vital.
Opener "Soul Car" is a swaggering, horn-drenched jazz-funk beast whilst the slick JBs funk of "Happy Penalty" is just plain irresistible. Definitely influenced by American funk flavours, it stands alone on its own right as a brilliant piece of music, no question about that. The blazing "Kuzi-Kuza" is again horn-fuelled but has a more exotic, Latino feel, all loose grooves and bastard blues with funky organ and shredding guitars. The stomping, proto-disco of "Mercy Boa" is a guitar-sizzled Bohannon-esque hypno-groove for adventurous dance floors the world over. Outstanding. And if all that wasn't enough from one half of a 70s French library LP, the A side ends with the monumental, stratospheric "Slim Bertha"! I mean, what can you even say about this absolute monster?! Slo-motion, deep drama funk breaks with jazzy guitar and gleaming percussion. Just sensational.
Side B opens with "Country + Country", a rather forgettable slice of piano driven bluegrass funk (?!) Aaaaannyway, "Super Airship" follows and is a driving fuzz-guitar psych-rock workout of the highest order. We're back on track now. The brilliantly titled "Electronic Mutation" is a total highlight, the funk most definitely returning and, indeed, strong in this one with its deep clean breaks (with some particularly ace hi-hats), echoey effects and funky clavs. "Africa Semper" follows, all funky percussion, trippy echo and distorted, psychy guitar licks. To close out the set, "Neo Rythmiques 1 and 2" form a great salvo of top-tier, percussion-heavy synthy-funk-fusion. For our money, the bugged-out echoey space-soul of "N° 2" just about edges it.
One of the very best French drummers ever, Pierre-Alain Dahan began his career at the Blue Note in Paris with Sonny Stitt, Dexter Gordon and Daniel Humair. Some start, eh?! He also participated in the recording of Serge Gainsbourg's cult album 'La Ballade de Melody Nelson' before going on to make countless KILLER library funk records and be a key member - alongside his partner here, Slim Pezin - in the legendary Arpadys, Disco & Co and Voyage. Dahan also featured in Tumblack (with Wally Badarou, Sauveur Mallia et al) and Jef Gilson Septet (alongside Henri Texier), whilst the CCCP Pezin backed, among others, Manu Dibango and Nino Ferrer. Some pedigree.
The audio for Neo Rythmiques has been remastered by Be With regular Simon Francis, ensuring this release sounds better than ever. Cicely Balston's expert skills have made sure nothing is lost in the cut whilst the original, iconic Tele Music house sleeve has been restored here at Be With HQ as the finishing touch to this long overdue re-issue.