Band/Artist Bio

Le plus grand groupe de rock francais, and we'll pretty much agree. Ange's completely original and unique take on the "progressif" is most definitely and definitively French. Led by vocalist Christian Decamps.


French symphonic band, well-regarded albums.

Bocquet, Roland

Keyboard player from Catharsis did soundtrack work in the 80s and beyond

Bréant, François

Former member of Nemo, François Bréant released two albums of electronic music in the late 70s.

Carpe Diem

French progressive group from Nice.


Led by keyboardist Roland Bocquet


Project led by French keyboardist Cyrille Verdeaux

Dashiel Hedayat

Album from Jack-Alain Leger featured most of Gong, circa 1971.

Décamps, Francis

Two-fingered keyboardist from Ange


Refused entry to the UK, former Soft Machiner Daevid Allen remained in France and started Gong. Their earliest recordings take a cue from Barrett-era Floyd, but the hypnotic Continental Circus is underrated. Always maintaining a fluid line-up, things congealed enough for the classic Radio Gnome trilogy of albums. By 1975 however, Allen and Smyth headed down to Majorca, and the silliness subsided. Eventually Pierre Moerlen took over the helm, veering off into a full-fledged fusion outfit. Somewhere Daevid Allen summed up the Gong ethic quite simply - "take the most serious things in life with the least amount of seriousness." Gong were like that - either you got the joke or you didn't.


Premiere french underground band, founded by Richard Pinhas

Jarre, Jean Michel

French synthesist, popular

Kravetz, Jean-Jacques

Keyboard player for Frumpy, Atlantis, Randy Pie and more.

Lard Free

Founded by drummer Gilbert Artman, Lard Free was similar to Richard Pinhas' Heldon; French, unconventional, experimental, but, incredulously, a rock band. Later albums would draw parallels to the cosmic side of the ubiquitous "krautrock" of Germany. Artman would simultaneously lead the massive performances of Urban Sax.


Perhaps most idiosyncratic of all progressives, Christian Vander's Magma documented the other-worldly parables of the planet Kobaia. The early side project Univeria Zekt album The Unamables is great introduction, but even their first two albums wouldn't prepare the world for the completely over the top epic Mekanik Destruktiw Komanndoh. Sung in Vander's self-created language, Magma's music a cross between Carl Orff, John Coltrane and some dark-ass heavy metal!

Malherbe, Didier

Aka Bloom-Dido Bad-de-Grass, Didier Malherbe's post-Gong work included the vastly underrated fusion outfit Bloom, before continuing into the 80s on a world-fusion path, which included work with Zao's François "Faton" Cahen and in Hadouk, with Loy Ehrlich.

Mona Lisa

French symphonic band hailing from Orleans.

Pierre Moerlen's Gong

Gong gone fusion

Pinhas, Richard

Pinhas' contribution to the Parisian progressive music scene cannot be underrated. Also, a professor of philosophy at Sorbonne.


Hailing from Lyon, Pulsar were one of the first French bands to receive a recording contract from an English record label (Terry King's Kingdom Records). Dark, atmospheric, their first three albums are somewhat of minor classics.


One of France's premier (yet obscure) symphonic bands.

Top, Jannick

Bassist supreme

Vian, Patrick

Former member of Red Noise, Patrick Vian released an eponymous album of electronic music in 1976.


Ex-Magma, Bernard Paganotti and Patrick Gauthier's zeuhl


Offshoot from Magma, Francois Cahen and Yochk'o Seffer offer world-class (albeit more traditional) jazz rock.