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French TV: The Violence of Amateurs

AAJ Staff By

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I have had the pleasure to sample much of FTV’s discography. I find this recent outing a winner. FTV is one wild, zany, and iconoclastic bunch of musicians with a penchant for the bizarre. They are all over the place compositionally but highly skilled nonetheless. And such is the cream-pie-tossing way Sary and gang chase each other around on these six eclectic compositions. I have been reminded by Sary that I tend to say that FTV reminds me of nearly everything so this time I will attempt to narrow things a tad. Imagine Zappa, (Keneally and Fowler boys too), got together with National Health, Hatfield and the North, The Bonzo Dog Band, Volare, Zamlas Mammas Manna, and way too much designer coffee. What happens is magic and unpredictable fun. Mike Sary on bass and percussion, Dean Zigoris on guitar, gtr. synth and some keys, John Robinson on main keys, Brian Donohoe, (Volare, Matter Eater), guesting on drums, and Bob Douglas on more drums are all joined by many talented others on more keys, flute, reeds, violin, vocals, banjo, and assorted noises to create one fine release. They cover a Volare song, “The Odessa Steps Sequence” and Zamla Mammas Manna’s “Joosan Lost/The Fate”. Elsewhere we find four excellent FTV originals. Good stuff, (surf guitar outro included with purchase).

I found the first 5:30 of the monolithic 21:40 “Joosan Lost/The Fate” wonderful, the next 7:00 was just FTV free form, improv meanderville. Things got a lot more interesting thereafter in the overdriven, wall-of-sound, extended 5:50 pseudo-finale movement. And finally the remaining 3:20 returns with an outro/reprise of the great jams of the piece’s early feel. If you have never tried FTV then start with this latest splash.


Reprinted with the permission of John Collinge and


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