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Propergol * Paradise Land (cd 2012)

Six years after “Ground Proximity Warning System” first a live performance was announced for the 25th aniversary of Tesco and then a new album to be released at that very festival. Jérôme’s Tesco show started off very ambient, a recognisable Propergol sound with stretched sounds, samples and low frequencies. This was nice, but instead of having a show with tracks running over in eachother, there were pauses between the tracks and only after a “come on” from the audience, the sound got dirty. There is close to nothing of the dirty sound on “Paradise Land”. Like the last album, the new one is mostly dark ambient, but in the Propergol way. Carefully built up tracks, making a great, dark atmosphere. No outburst, like I said. I would not mind if those came back, but “Paradise Land” is a bit more of ‘Propergol light’ for people who are not too good with extreme electronics. If you are one of those, try this album first and work your way back in the catalogue of this great, French project. To old fans I will say that in the lengthy last track, some unexpected elements appear. Propergol does not stand still.
Links: Propergol, Tesco

v/a * DruckEmpfindeN-festival (cd 2009)

Man I wanted to be at this festival, but the night was impossible for me. I should have seen Geneviéve Pasquier much earlier than yesterday and however I did see Propergol already, it would not have hurt (perhaps the ears, but who cares) to see him life again. Now I see some pictures…… Fortunately for all those who were or were not present, there is this compilation. It is supposedly limited to 250 copies, about 100 of which get an addition flyer and card. I got my copy from Pasquier and my copy says “Geneviéve Pasquier limited edition 02/17” which seems to imply that each artist got a few copies to sell as well. In a nice foldout cover and with the nice artwork of the flyer comes an 8 track cd with with three tracks of Pasquier, three of Propergol and two of Bad Sector. These are not recordings of the performances by the way. Pasquier opens moody with a trance-ambient song, but continues with her catchy industrial electropop including the title track of her new album. Propergol seems to have stepped off the ambient soundscapes path (for a moment) and comes with great harsch industrial noise. Bad sector contributed an ambient track and a ‘club remix’. In total spanning only 35 minutes, this compilation may be a bit short, but very nice, especially regarding the fact that most tracks are exclusive.
Link: Chamber Music

Cosmos Enthropy * Unknown (cd 2007 hermetique)

Jérôme Nougaillon (Propergol, Hermetique) agains turns up under a different name. He himself describes the release as “atmospheric ambient”, but my description would be “threatening noisescapes” or something in that vein. The music is obviously made by mister Nougaillon who as no other knows how to set a dark atmosphere with an extreme electronic sound. Probably too noisy for people who like ‘the CMI-sound’, not with the power electronic outbursts that we love Propergol for, but a must-buy for Propergol fans and the ultimate “noisescape” album. Yep, he has done it again, a magnificent piece of work that may be even better than some Propergol albums (or at least just as good)! (Limited to 471 copies btw.)

Link: Cosmos Enthropy / Hermetique

Wrong Number * Gun-Type Fission Weapon (cd 2007 hermetique)

Wrong Number is the new incarnation of Jérôme Nougaillon of Propergol, released on his own Hermetique label. However you immediately hear the similarities with Propergol, Wrong Number has a slightly different style. Jérôme himself compares this cd with the more ambient Propergol album Ground Proximity Warning System. It was also made in the same way with months of collecting samples. Wrong Number is indeed more ambient, more soundscapish even, but still in the Nougaillon way: dark, oppressive, impressive with a lot of layers and atmosphere. There are some noisy edges to this album, but nothing compared to the power electronic eruptions of Propergol. The cd contains long and slow tracks with stretched sounds and loads of samples. Here and there I find the style a bit too monotous or there are too many ‘small things’ happening (all kinds of sounds), so I don’t like Wrong Number as much as some of the Propergol albums. But again, if you like Propergol, noisy ambient or good soundscapes, I advise you to get one of the 471 copies of this well-packaged cd. And be sure to visit for sound-samples, a video-trailer, wallpapers, etc.

Vargtimmen * The Bait (mcd 2005 gazoline)

Jérôme Nougaillon is Propergol, Hermetique, Sea-Green Series and… Vargtimmen and Gazoline. This 3″ cd comes in a superb package. The box has the size of a bank card, put in a slipcase and the cd has been cut to fit in the little box (I think this is how you can get your electronic visiting-card). There is one track on the cd of 6:29 minutes. Clear samples (guitar, orchestrations) with weird soundscapes and samples. Musically not great, but original the least. Again a reference to a film in the project’s name, Vargtimmen (‘time of wolves’) is a film from 1968.

Propergol * Un Déchaînement De Violence / Cleanshaven (2cd 2006 functional records)

Tesco rereleased the two very limited debut albums of the French noise-act Propergol. I got to know Propergol for the extremely dark, well-structured noisescapes with here and there a power electronic eruption. These two remasted albums mostly contain merciless noise. Extreme power electronics lacking the structure and the many samples of the later albums. Only a few tracks have those typical elements such as extremely low frequencies, deep beats, filmsamples and strange sounds. On both albums are a few magnificent tracks, but the over-the-top noise tracks that sometimes last for over 10 minutes, are too much for my taste. Nice for archival reasons, but I prefer the later recordings of Jérôme Nougaillon.

Propergol * Ground Proximity Warning System (cd 2005 annihilvs/stridulum)

When I got the Tesco newsletter, I was exited, because it lists a Propergol cd that I didn’t know and I thought it was a new one. I looked around, eventually got a copy from Hermetique himself and it proves to be a 2005 cd that I missed for some reason. The title is often G.P.W.S., by the way. This album is more ‘ambient’ than the other power electronics albums, but still ‘very Propergol’. Tons of samples (this time of airplanes in distress), extremely dark and threatening in sound, but this time just not with the extreme noise outbursts. But… you will not be entirely devoid of noise! This album may be a good introduction to Propergol for people who are not familiar with this French project, but who are not sure about power electronics. For Propergol addicts I can only say that this album won’t let you down for sure! Another great album, maybe a bit hard to get, but get in touch with Jérôme(/Hermetique) himself or of course the labels.

Propergol * Program Vengeance (cd 2005 malignant)

It was a long wait before I finally got the this new Propergol, but it is worth it! I didn’t know that this cd contains old material (recorded in 1999, remastered in 2003) but that doesn’t matter a bit. Propergol seems to be moving rapidly, because already has another new album called “Redemption” and two other titles are anounced, well well! Those who know Propergol will know what to expect: extreme experimental noise. Not just monotous earcracking noise, but dark soundscapes working towards complete overdrive and with a lot of samples and low frequencies. Propergol has a varried style, from dark ambient to high-pitched noise to rhytmical power electronics and more industrial sounds. Like with the other Propergol albums that I have some tracks of “Program Vengeance” are brilliant, while others are just good or alright. What I particularly like about Propergol is that the albums tend to be ‘concept albums’ of some kind. They seem to tell a story and the tracks build up an atmosphere and go over in eachother. “Program Vengeance” starts with a pit-dark soundscapes with a few noise eruptions, but it takes almost all the way to the end before the sound becomes really extreme. Especially because of the atmosphere that this French act creates with this extreme kind of sound, makes Propergol my most favorite noise act.

Propergol * Renegade (cd 2001 tesco organisation)

Here we have a real Tesco release. A 71 minute noise cd in an oversized package of a French band. 11 Tracks with a lot of variety in styles of noise and power electronics including everything from high to low-frequency noise, from relatively tranquil to very extreme, lots of rhythm, lots of samples, sometimes with distorted vocals and most of the time pretty dark. Get it before it is gone!

Propergol * United States… (cd 2000 nuit et brouillard)

A few months ago I reviewed the excellent latest cd of this French act which is a cd on Tesco. This is the previous album that is still available and that was released by the French label with an enormous mailorder catalogue Nuit et Brouillard (“night and fog”).
“United States…” contains soundscapish industrial tracks and massive noise and lasts for 71 minutes. There are a lot of samples, not just a bunch of noise, but more structured which I definately prefer of chaotic noise and a lot of low frequencies. On this and the new cd there definately are some of the best noise tracks that I ever heard and however “United States…” is not entirely as good as “Renegade”, I am sure I would have bought the new one if I got this one first. Refreshing and great noise that you shouldn’t miss.
I am not totally sure about the year this cd was released, but I think late 2000.