Photo: Serge MAYANOBE
Photo: Serge MAYANOBE
ARTCANE is a French progressive rock group, created in Clermont-Ferrand, in 1974, by Stanislas BELLOC, Alain COUPEL, Daniel LOCCI and Jack MLYNSKI.
The group is dissolved in 1979.
Jack MLYNSKI, guitar and vocals, and Alain COUPEL, guitar, bass, and vocals ( having played together in a group in 1967-1968 ), decide at the end 1973 to form an experimental rock band. Alain COUPEL, with a strong interest in electronic sounds, plays synthesiser and keyboards, and Jack MLYNSKI, guitars. Daniel LOCCI, a classically trained pianist, and also a drummer and percussionist, joins them. Beginning 1974, the three ask Stanislas BELLOC, a friend of Alain COUPEL, to complete the group as bass player.
In the same year, the musicians establish themselves on a farm in the country near Clermont-Ferrand, where they install a recording studio and compose a new repertoire.
A name for the new group is found: ARTCANE, a combination of two words ‘art’ and ‘arcane’. A logo is also chosen for the group: the felucca (an Egyptian boat ), reflecting in the Nile river, a symbol of dream and escape.
In November 1974, ARTCANE gives it’s first concert.
In July of 1975 ARTCANE is invited to play on the number one national television, TF1, performing their music for a wide audience on ‘Midi Première’, a variety show animated by Danièle Gilbert.
In 1976, François WERTHEIMER, artist, producer, and also lyricist for the French singer BARBARA, produces ARTCANE’s record. Six titles are recorded at the Leo Clarens studio and mixed at the Ferber Studio, in Paris: Odyssée, Le chant d’Orphée, Novembre, 25ème Anniversaire, Artcane1, Nostalgie.
In April 1977, ARTCANE signs a recording contract with PHILIPS PHONOGRAM.
In May 1977, the album ODYSSÉE is pressed and distributed throughout France.
The ODYSSÉE record is well received by the specialised press in France, notably in ‘Rock et Folk’, ‘Rock en Stock’, ‘Best’, and also by ‘Unicorn Times’, in the USA.
With the new record out, ARTCANE goes on tour, playing in Maisons de la culture, theatres, cultural centres, to promote it’s music all over France.
In January 1978, a short film is produced on ARTCANE, ‘ ARTCANE at the LANDOGNE Castle’, under the direction of the journalist and director: Geoffrey SOUTRELLE.
In the spring of 1978, new material is ready for a second record. Unfortunately, PHILIPS having decided to put an end to ARTCANE’s contract, after a change of personnel in the artistic direction of the company in France, this new material would not to be recorded.
In December 1978, ARTCANE gives it’s last concert in a theatre in the city of Roanne.
In January 1979, Alain COUPEL leaves the group.
Jack MLYNSKI, Stanislas BELLOC, and Daniel LOCCI decide to put an end to the group.
Daniel LOCCI dies in 2015, Stanislas BELLOC in 2017.
ARTCANE’s music is a mix of progressive rock, that can be qualified as dreamy and dark, in a kind of a tense and somewhat oppressive atmosphere. The instrumental parts prevail over the singing.
ARTCANE is sometimes likened to a French version of King Crimson, and also of dark progressive.
LP: ARTCANE, Odyssée 1977, album PHILIPS PHONOGRAM A 9101 141
Side 1: Odyssée – music by Daniel LOCCI
Le chant d’Orphée – lyrics and music by Jack MLYNSKI
Novembre – music by Alain COUPEL
25ème Anniversaire – music by Jack MLYNSKI
Side 2:Artcane 1- music by Daniel LOCCI
Nostalgie – lyrics and music by Stanislas BELLOC
SP: ARTCANE1977 single PHILIPS PHONOGRAM 6837 409
Side 1: Odyssée
Side 2: Le chant d’Orphée
CD: ARTCANE, Odyssée, with bonus tracks – MUSEA Records. 2018
LP: ARTCANE Odyssée – vinyl reissue – REPLICA Records 2019
Since the nineties, the vinyl album ‘Odyssée’ has become a collector’s item.
Rock et Folk : August 1977, no. 127, and December 1977, no. 131
Best : Octobre 1977, no.111
Rock en Stock : May 1978, no.12
Antirouille : February 1978, no. 22
Unicorn Times USA – Ted White, August 1978
RFI radio, interview in NYC of Jack MLYNSKI, by Marie-France CHATIN, July the 13th 1990
WFMU RADIO NJ-NYC, on Dan BERHMAN, ‘ I’m Just An Immigrant’ Show, June 4th 1990
WFMU RADIO NJ-NYC, on Tony Coulter, December 12th 2005
WFMU radio NJ-NYC U.S.A Gaylord Fields programme 18 Novembre 2018
WFMU radio NJ-NYC U.S.A Nick Name programme 23 Novembre 2018
Radical Research .org/artcane
Prog à part radio, Artcane Odyssée Fr. 8 janvier 2019
TF1 : on Danièle GILBERT, ‘Midi Première’, variety show, July 18th 1975 / Septembre 8 1975 / June3 1976
FR3 : ARTCANE at the Landogne castle (short film). January 26. 1978
Anthologie du Rock Français de 1956 à 2017 by Dominic GRANFILS – CamionBlanc, France
Le Livre d’Or de la Pop et du Jazz, by Patrice BLANC-FRANCARD – Solar, France
The Progressive File, by Jerry Lucky, Collector’s Guide Publishing Inc. Canada
Scented Gardens of Mind – Progressive Rock 1968/1980, by Dag Erik Asbjornsen Borderline Productions. UK
Discographie Vinyl du Rock Français 1977-2000 – Euthanasie Records, France
Mean Deviation, by Jeff Wagner-Brazillion – Points 2010 USA
La discographie du rock français – Francis Grosse and Bernard Gueffier – Madrigal 1986. France
Une histoire discographique, par François Robinet – Ed, camion blanc France
Rock français, la genèse 1956-1976, une discographie pour l’histoire, par Jacques Coly. Editions Résurgence
Photo: Serge Mayanobe