Urban Sax, Gilbert Artman ‎– Urban Sax

Cobra ‎– COB 37004
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Recorded at Studio Hautefeuille.
Mixed at Studio Mannderly.
Produced for Cezame-Cobra.
Thanks: Régine - Nadia Omar - Sylverie Strange.

Second pressing, via Sonopresse distribution.
Some copies were stickered: Distribution Carrere (as illustrated here).

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  • Price Code: Ⓨ

Other Versions (4 of 4) View All

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
COB 37004 Urban Sax, Gilbert Artman Urban Sax, Gilbert Artman - Urban Sax(LP, Album, RE) Cobra COB 37004 France Unknown Sell This Version
LPS152 Urban Sax, Gilbert Artman Urban Sax, Gilbert Artman - Urban Sax(LP, Album, RE + DVD-V) Wah Wah Records LPS152 Spain 2016 Sell This Version
CEL 6738 Urban Sax, Gilbert Artman Urban Sax, Gilbert Artman - Urban Sax(LP, Album, RE) Celluloid CEL 6738 France 1986 Sell This Version
COB 37004 Urban Sax, Gilbert Artman Urban Sax, Gilbert Artman - Urban Sax(LP, Album, RE) Cobra COB 37004 France Unknown Sell This Version


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December 3, 2016
Apart from Lard Free, there was also another project that Gilbert Artman had been working on since as early as 1973. The name of this project? Urban Sax. Yes, believe it or not, Gilbert had the notion of creating a huge saxophone orchestra. With his background in jazz, he had access to a great number of musicians only too willing to aid him on this grandiose plan. Yet, what Urban Sax were to create was certainly not jazz! It seems that the media became quite confused by this, with perplexing reports from jazz magazines by people who just didn't understand what Gilbert Artman was up to. An amusing note is that Virgin Records in-store newspaper announced their debut as URBAN SEX! I think it took a while for the music to get to the right audience. But, despite this, even those who shuddered at the idea of a massed ensemble of saxophones were in for a most pleasant surprise.
Urban Sax unleashed their debut on the newly founded Cobra Records, one of the finest labels around during the latter part of the 70's (curiously a division of the folk music based company Cezame), it also presented classics by Heldon, Hydravion and Weidorje. This initial morsel was said to be the first of a four album work lasting three hours, a work which would progress onto new levels with each subsequent side-long suite.
The sonic effect of sixteen saxophones, when directed in the unique manner that Gilbert had been developing over the previous four years, is quite extraordinary. Quoted by some as being like a mass of electronic keyboards, reed organs and breathy sounds, the sound textures are quite deceiving. Yet, this debut is just saxophones and nothing else, almost like sixteen Terry Riley's developing a theme from A RAINBOW IN CURVED AIR!
From my Gilbert Artman "The Eternal Spiral" article in Audion magazine #24 (Feb. 1993)


June 25, 2016
Urban Sax was created in 1973. Gilbert Artman, the mastermind behind Lard Free -who has also participated in dozens of recordings by other artists of the French experimental scene that included Delired Chameleon Family, Clear Light, Komintern, etc.- developed an interest in the relation between space and sound. He organised a first experiment that took place in the town of Menton, in the South of France. Artman strategically placed 18 saxophonists, and their sound reverberated through all the village. As time went by the band increased and currently their performances count with up to 34 saxophonists, 1 bass player, 3 percussionists, 2 dancers and 8 vocalists, with a line up that varies depending on each particular project. You can find saxophonists playing over rooftops, or climbing down buildings or arriving in helicopters. It is a fascinating experience that can be hardly translated to vinyl, but through the years they have recorded some of their music and here we are proud to offer vinyl reissues of those works, including one previously released on vinyl format!

Urban Sax's debut LP was issued in 1977 on Cézanne / Cobra. It is the soundtrack of Urban Sax first architectural sound shows, but also a splendid work on its own, with a similar sense of musical experimentation and adventure to that of La Monte Young, Phil Niblock, Glenn Branca, Steve Reich, Terry Riley, a.o. Urban Sax's music is constructed over the concept of ""continuous sound", around which build and develop poly-rhythmic loops, modulated and nested in a partition and a principle of "distant sound" allowing to question the listening audience. It is about linking audio and visual performances. The music is semi repetitive, with evolving pieces of different colors. Entire saxophone family is represented: sopranos, altos, tenors and bass baritones..." (Wikipedia).