Cortex – Pourquoi review
Recorded in 1978 but lovingly excavated from the vaults and remastered by Trad Vibe records, this third album by French band Cortex is a wealth of funky delights. Like Steely Dan, the core of Cortex consisted of pianist Alain Mion and drummer Alain Gandolfi, but for recording their number was swelled by a host of session musicians. Combining fusion with pop and rock melodies, they seriously sound like they were in the same zone as Stevie Wonder circa “Songs In The Key of Life” – the use of synth basslines and funky clavinets in particular recall the great one.
Recalling another great lost album, Shggie Otis’s Inspiration Information, the atmosphere is tight and warm as songs like “Images” follow some superb jazzy chord changes. “La Bulle” is a sexy and slow rocky number that owes a debt to Isaac Hayes, and sounds like the kind of thing Air listened to around the time of Moon Safari. The uptempo disco of “Running From You” is made slightly camp due to the clipped English language vocals, but it’s still a hell of a tune (ideally suited for a cosmic Todd Terje edit). Closing track “Matin Gris” is the most downtempo thing on the album and a fitting send-off, with the glorious analogue phasing on the synths proving a real highlight. This is funky French rock at its best, and very deserving of a reissue and a whole new audience.
Review: Oliver Keens