Hydravion ‘Stratos Airlines’

Stratos Airlines LP front cover
Stratos Airlines LP back cover
Stratos Airlines LP side 1

Trained as a chemist working for France’s CNRS research center, Philippe Besombes became sound engineer for contemporary music festivals in the early seventies (Stockhausen and Nono at La Rochelle festival, 1972), as well as composing music for theater and ballet performances. In 1973, he  wrote the soundtrack to the Libra film, a classic psychedelic/free rock epic. He became interested in electronic music and synths and launched Pôle in 1975 with, among others, keyboard player Jean-Louis Rizet he had met in Luc Ferrari’s improvisation band ALM (also including David Gisse). In 1977, after the demise of Pôle, Besombes formed Hydravion with Cooky Rhinoceros and Christ Saint Roch, as a vehicle exploring more structured compositions and extensive studio work, with prominent use of vintage keyboards and synthesizers.

♫ Published 1979, Stratos Airlines, Hydravion’s 2nd LP, is a collection of tracks ranging from typical French progressive rock with disco touches, to Kosmische musik ala Ash Ra Tempel. An optimist, yet melancholic cosmo-futurist atmosphere pervades all the music, in line with the cover art work. Though Besombes’ amazing synth sounds tend to dominate the music thanks to generous doses of Moog, Oberheim and Mellotron, the other musicians’ contributions add their own, vital dimension, especially Cooky Rhinoceros’ compelling guitar parts.

01 Pasadena Airport (4:08)
02 Telecom (5:12)
03 Singaraja (8:02)
04 Ligne Equateur (4:17)
05 Carolyn Sud (4:54)
06 Santander (5:14)
07 L’Amour Charter (3:48)

Philippe Besombes, keyboards, sitar, vocoder, vocals
Dolores de Las Palmeras, vocals
Cooky Rhinoceros, guitars
Bernard Vantier, drums
Jean-Pierre Lenormand, flute
Christ Saint Roch, vocals

Total time 35:30
LP released by Carrere, France, 1979

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Philippe Besombes discography (tbc):
1973 P. Besombes Libra, LP, Pôle Records
1975 Pôle Kotrill, LP, Pôle Records
1976 producer for Philippe Grancher 3000 Miles Away, LP, Pôle Records >
1976 Pôle (w/ Jean-Louis Rizet), LP, Tapioca
1977 Hydravion, s/t, 1st LP, Cobra
1978 Hydravion ‘Metropolitain’, 7”
1979 Hydravion ‘Stratos Airlines’, LP, Carrere International
1979 P. Besombes Ceci est Cela, LP, Divox International
1982 P. Besombes La Guerre des Animaux, LP, RCA
1982 P. Besombes et al. City & Industry, LP, Cézame/RCA
2000 P. Besombes et al. Bébé de l’an 2000, CD, Sony/BMG >
2004 P. Besombes et al. Rêves De Bébé, CD, Believe/Versailles Station

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5 Responses to “Hydravion ‘Stratos Airlines’”


  1. 2 continuo November 8, 2010 at 9:54 am

    I didn’t know the LP was posted before, otherwise I woulnn’t have been wasting time and energy digitizing it.

  2. 3 newname November 8, 2010 at 11:08 am

    It does not matter if you upload an album that already exists on some blogs.Your albums sound far the best and also exist many people here who follow your blog and do not surf around for “every” album.Never hear for that album…just downloading. thanks.

  3. 4 continuo November 8, 2010 at 11:22 am

    Fine. I wouldn’t want readers to lose their time on this blog.

  4. 5 Electro December 15, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    Here is a purchasable version, for those who still believe in supporting an artist
    https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/id734296786?affId=1108120


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