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MAAJUN - Vivre La Mort Du Vieux Monde LP

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First off, the title of an album which evokes a bitter and definitive criticism of the world, and the name of a group, Maajun, with a slightly exotic feel announcing festive days to come and a host of experiments, not only culinary. Maajun was born when Alain Roux (flute, sax, harmonica, percussions, vocals) and Cyril Lefebvre (acoustic guitar, 12 string guitar, steel guitar, banjo, vocals) who had been playing acoustic blues as a duo since 1964; met Jean Louis Lefebvre (bass, violin, acoustic guitar, vocals), Roger Scaglia (electric guitar, percussions, vocals) both of whom had already tried out the Vogue studios with ‘Le Musical Collège’ (EP La Colombe‐ 1968) ; and Jean Pierre Arnoux (drums, sax, tablas), a jazz and free jazz drummer. All the ingredients came together to create, by alchemy, a personal and dreamlike music coloured by influences of blues, free jazz, psychedelic rock, and rhythms and sounds from other shores (India, North Africa...). Gérald Escot Bocanegra, who wrote poetry largely inspired by Rimbaud and Lautréamont, played his part providing Maajun’s committed texts and lyrics. It was autumn 1969. The post May-68 atmosphere pushed a large part of the youth of the time to oppose a programmed daily life devoted to boredom and alienation by work, imposed by the old world; this climate was equally ripe for experimentation: communal living, the birth of freedom movements, underground free press, etc... This was the context in which Maajun recorded their concept album, Vivre La Mort Du Vieux Monde (Live The Death Of The Old World) on the Vogue label in spring 1970. The result was not what the record company had been expecting, they were stunned to discover the album’s subversive, iconoclastic and jubilatory contents. Vogue, who thought they were going to be promoting another ‘pop-style’ group, found themselves faced with an unidentifiable, potentially highly explosive object and chose to put the project on ice. It was the beginning of a ferocious battle. Maajun, through playing concerts and festivals acquired a solid fan base. A live sequence on the Pop Club programme hosted by José Artur was lauded by the audience, who swamped the Vogue offices by telephone to get the label to release the album. Vivre La Mort Du Vieux Monde finally appeared in early 1971, in limited numbers, with poor distribution, and virtually no promotion. Maajun was undergoing a period of internal tension at the time and two members left the group. In spite of all this, the desire to see ‘the death of the old world’ remained strong, and many underground pop groups would carry the torch. "Live freely and take the sky by storm" was the brilliant conclusion of the album with its festive and sonic energy: it would ultimately be the motto of Maajun for who this was the one and only album. - Michel Muzac