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France

Ange

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.

Founded: 1970

Location: Belfort, France

Website: ANGEWEB

Atoll

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French symphonic band, well-regarded albums.

Clearlight

Project led by French keyboardist Cyrille Verdeaux

Founded: 1973

Location: Paris, France

Website: Welcome to Clearlight 888 Music

Dashiel Hedayat

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

Founded: 1971

Location: Paris, France

Décamps, Francis

Two-fingered keyboardist from Ange

Founded: 1944

Location: Héricourt, France

Website: Le site officiel de Gens De La Lune

Gong

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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.

Founded: 1969

Location: Paris, France

Website: Planet Gong: Cyber-home of Gong, GAS and Gliss

Heldon

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Premiere french underground band, founded by Richard Pinhas

Founded: 1973

Location: Paris, France

Jarre, Jean Michel

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French synthesist, popular

Founded: 1948

Location: Lyon, France

Website: Jean Michel Jarre Official Website

Lard Free

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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.

Founded: 1970

Location: Paris, France

Website: Myspace page for Lard Free

Magma

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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!

Founded: 1969

Location: Paris, France

Website: MAGMA - CHRISTIAN VANDER - STELLA VANDER - SEVENTH RECORDS