PATRICK FORGAS - A BIOGRAPHY
Patrick Forgas was 18 years old when he first heard the music that would change his life : the second Soft Machine album. He would spend the following years perfecting his drumming technique in several of the bands that flourished at the time, the early 70's. In 1975, he recorded a demo tape with Dominique Godin (keyboards and sax) and Didier Thibault (bass), but the latter, formerly of Moving Gelatine Plates (an excellent French band in the Canterbury vein, which recorded two acclaimed albums in 1970 and 1971), went on to form a new version of MGP, taking Godin with him, and leaving Patrick on his own.
Luckily, the tape caught the attention of the new-born Gratte-Ciel label, and in 1977 he recorded and released his first album Cocktail, with a cast of musicians which read like a who's who of the French progressive scene, with former and future members of Magma - Jean-Pierre Fouquey (keyboards), then only 18 - and the Magma offshoot band Zao - François Debricon (sax/flute), Patrick Tilleman (violin), and most of all the virtuoso bass player Gérard Prévost. Most of these musicians went on to become top session players. Following the uniformly positive reviews of the album in the press, Forgas formed a touring band, retaining the services of Laurent Roubach - a guitarist later famous for his guitar duo albums with Eric Boell - and Tilleman - quickly replaced by Jorge Pinchevsky of Gong fame, then Jean-Pierre Thirault, the sax player from Lard Free and Mahjun -, adding Eric Bono and Philippe Talet - both later in the leading French fusion band, Abus Dangereux. Unfortunately, following the demise of the Gratte-Ciel label, the band had to break up after just a handful of gigs, opening for Weidorje and Didier Malherbe's Bloom among others, without recording the projected second album, of which only a ten-minute medley remains.
Between 1978 and 1988, Forgas almost stopped playing music. He sold his drum kit and took on various non musical jobs. He nonetheless continued to write, with the help of a guitar or a keyboard, which led to an abortive attempt at mainstream pop success (two singles in the mid-eighties) - albeit with quite funny lyrics! Thanks to the continued healthy sales of Cocktail through the Muséa distribution network, Forgas was offered a contract in 1988, resulting in the 1990 "comeback" album L'Oeil, on which Fouquey, Roubach and Tilleman from Cocktail, and Didier Malherbe (of Gong), guested alongside Forgas on vocals, synths and programming.
Following encouragement from various magazines and musicians (among whom none other than his old inspirator Robert Wyatt), Forgas started work on a third album, Art D'Echo, inspired by the French surrealist movement of the 1920's, and writer André Breton in particular. Once again, he hired the talents of several guests, this time including old cohorts Debricon and Thirault, as well as new friends. Although it was recorded in the same "amateur" conditions, in Forgas' very small music room (so small, actually, that no more than two musicians can be inside at the same time!), the sound quality was much better. And a special track, "Poltergeist", marked Forgas's first drum playing in years.
The idea of forming a new live band rapidly followed, and the next three years were spent looking for the suitable musicians and rehearsing a new repertoire, centered on two epic compositions, "Rumeurs" (later retitled "Roue Libre") and "Sérum De Vérité"). A shorter track, "Déclic", was added in time for the recording sessions in March 1997. Roue Libre was released on Cosmos Music in December 1997, and was promoted by a series of gigs in and around Paris. Following more personnel changes, Forgas Band Phenomena went back into the studio in January 1999 to record the follow-up, Extra-Lucide, which was released in December 1999.
The band then went on a long hiatus, re-emerging stronger than ever in 2004 and releasing the live CD Soleil 12 on Cuneiform Records the following year. It consisted for a large part of re-worked version of the two suites originally intended for the 1978 album, "Coup De Théâtre" and a new version of "Pieuvre A La Pluie", plus two recent compositions, "Soleil 12" and "Eclipse". Patrick went on to compose material for a new CD in 2005-06, which after the obligatory road-testing was recorded in the summer of 2008, just before the band embarked on a memorable trip to South Korea. L'Axe Du Fou is slated for release in January 2009, again on Cuneiform.