DESAR
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DESAR

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Nov
21
DESAR @ PA Lounge

Somerville, Massachusetts, USA

Somerville, Massachusetts, USA

Sep
20
DESAR @ Steep & Steam

Salem, Massachusetts, USA

Salem, Massachusetts, USA

Sep
06
DESAR @ Steep & Steam

Salem, Massachusetts, USA

Salem, Massachusetts, USA

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This is a nice outing from solo artist Desar. The Salem MA musician styles himself after highwaymen from the 1700s, which is a fun choice and he's handsome enough to pull it off. But his main influence here is neither 18th century period music nor Adam Ant (the last musician I can recall running around dressed like Dick Turpin), it's David Bowie.

You can clearly hear the influence of Bowie on this CD's third track, "Babylon Train". It's a wonderful upbeat piece of pop/rock. But the Bowie influence has more to do with style and fearlessness. He hasn't aped any of Bowie's looks but he does show that he isn't afraid to add sexy theatricality to music, which is always a boon. Musically he's also not afraid to explore more than one sound on "Beyond the Law".

Several of the songs feature Desar alone at the piano and he excels at this arrangement but he also does well when he adds in more instruments and even when he's joined by another vocalist (Ad Frank on an intentionally disharmonious cover of Lou Reed's "Perfect Day"). Not surprisingly my favorite tracks are where the music comes closest to matching the image.

Both "Club Monbijou" and "Another Stitch" feature a rollicking piano sound that evokes a lost-in-time roadhouse. You can image a video that features the dashing Desar robbing a coach then riding to an inn where he entertains the drunken crowd by playing either of these songs.

If there's a misstep on this recording it's that Desar never takes the opportunity of turning his keyboard into the most appropriate instrument for his fashion choice: the harpsichord. I would have loved that, also working in a string quartet on some of the songs would have given them an intriguing depth.

As a bonus the disc features four pieces that he composed for the film "Prometheus Triumphant". Usually I'm indifferent to tacked on tracks but these manage to work. In fact, I like the album best when I play it on shuffle and the bonus tracks are worked in with the other songs. (Perhaps because Desar covers such a wide territory on "Beyond the Law".)

I can't help but wonder how long Desar plans on working the gentleman robber routine, but he does it quite well. Perhaps his next outing will work in more sounds the fit his visual style.

http://www.sepiachord.com/desar.htm - Sepiachord


*Desar’s wonderful new Beyond The Law (Silent Spirit Records) transports the listener to another realm – one filled with composer Lucien Desar’s unique visions (not to mention excellent piano and vox). This Gothic treat showcases a variety of styles and influences, but united with a gorgeous Noir atmosphere.



Although the packaging tells a unique story of a highwayman in 1789 England, we’re taken on a timeless musical journey that spans centuries.



For instance, Club Monjibou (with drums by Mark Nathanson) takes us to Germany circa the 1930’s and immerses us into the sights and sounds of vintage cabaret. I love the crow references (hey, I am The Crowgrrl, after all) in the somber, melancholic Decaying Events (featuring guitarist Frank Gerace) The Bowie-esque Babylon Train (guest musicians Frank Gerace on guitar, Cheryl Wanner on bass guitar, and Richard Maddalo on drums) really does feel like a rocking train ride with all the attention to detail! The cover of Lou Reed’s Perfect Day is as beautiful as a colorful sunset fading to give way to twilight’s twinkling stars.



Another Stitch (drums by Brian O’Neill) bemoans stagnation or being stuck in a daily rut. Take Her Over is as delightfully dark as black satin. The dangerous The Girl With The Half Moon Eyes would be great in a horror or crime scene movie. The regal insrumental Social Experiment is timeless; it would be right at home being played at a Carpathian royal ball. The tranquil May Rain is as beautiful as sunlight sparkling on fallen rain puddles.



The next four tracks – Memories of a Different Life, Is It The Plague?, The Exodus, and Opening Title – are from the soundtrack Lucien composed and performed for the movie Prometheus Triumphant (Mad Monkey Productions), and are as exquisite and mood-setting on their own as they are perfect for the scenes of the movie – filmed in Vintage Silent Movie style with a storyline that is blends elements of Nosferatu, Phantom of the Opera, Frankenstein, and Reanimator after a scientist tries to bring his love (who died of the plague) back to life.

http://www.crowgrrl.com/reviews/070608perch.htm - Crowgrrrl's Perch


Discography

(Released on Silent Spirit Records)

* "Prayer To Ophelia" (single) 1996

* "Land Of The Blind" (CD) 1998

* "Page Turners" (Internet only) 1999

* "The Adventures Of Alice In Wonderland Suite" (CD) 2003 (second edition 2004 )

* "Dead Lovers Society ( October 2004)

* "The Conspirator" EP (May 2004)

Compilations:

* "Her Fate" on Kathode Ray Music compilation
"Fight Prime Time" 1996 (CD only)

* "The Bride" on Kathode Ray Music compilation "Money Talks and Sex Sells"(CD only)

* "The Bride" on Red Neck Records compilation "Autonamous Parts of Severed Insects"(CD Only)

* "She Closes" Implosion Magazine CD sampler

* "Free Will", "No One Knows Anything-bride stripped bare mix " compilation "Related Textures V.1 Modanti Records.

Black December: (side project)

* "Undertow" (single) by CobaltBlue & Désar compilation "Related Textures V.1 Modanti Records.

Works For The Neo-Classial Group Musa

* The Beach
* Caramilla (3 movements)
* Flight Across The Moor
* Elizabeth Sidall
* The Betrayl Of The Lover

Film Soundtracks

* The Accursed (1998)
Production Company: Dancing Ground Entertainment
Written and Directed by: Steven Charles

* More Than Money's Worth (2003)
Production company: Mindscape Pictures
Written and Directed by:
Jason Santo

Produced by:
Roman Berman
Sheri Carter
and Jason Santo
Running time:
40 minutes

* The Parting (2003)
Production company: Mindscape Pictures
Executive produced and
written by:
Alan Langer
Produced by:
Rick Bettencourt
Shot and directed by:
Jason Santo
Running time:
18 minutes

* A Simple Spell To Capture A Muse (2003)
Production company: Silent Ghost Cinema

* Premonition & A Case Of Table-Rapping Silent Ghost Cinema (2004)

* Jinx The Legend Of The Gezelda Sisters from Silent Ghost Cinema. (2004)

"Jinx The Legend Of The Gezelda Sisters"

* The Unhappy Medium from Pixievision Films (2004)
Directed by Chelsea Spear

* The Delightfully Melancholy Hobby Of Murder from Silent Ghost Cinema. (2004)
Production company: Silent Ghost Cinema

* Norma's Scent from Mindscape Pictures (2005)
Production company: Mindscape Pictures
Directed by: Jason Santo
Written by: Yair Packer

* Just a Whisper from Mad Monkey Productions (2007)
Directed by Jim Towns

* Prometheus Triumphant from Mad Monkey Productions (2007)
Directed by Jim Towns & Mike McKown

* Red Sister Red from Mad Monkey Productions (2008) (Currently in production)
Directed by Jim Towns

Photos

Bio

Fueled by diverse cultural inspirations – the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Graeme Revell, and Peter Murphy; the photography of ManRay; the artwork of Edward Gorey; the films of Tim Burton; the literature of Shakespeare, Keats, and Poe – and also influenced by Celtic, renaissance, jazz, Caribbean, German, Italian, and African musical styles and rhythms – Désar reveals his dark passions in the gothic rock and neo-classical styles prevalent in his work.