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Aksak Maboul
Also known as Aqsak Maboul
Origin Belgium
Genres Avant-rock, experimental
Years active 1977–1981
Labels Kamikaze, Crammed
Associated acts Henry Cow, Art Bears,
The Honeymoon Killers
Former members
Marc Hollander
Vincent Kenis
Marc Moulin
Chris Joris
Catherine Jauniaux
Frank Wuyts
Michel Berckmans
Denis van Hecke

Aksak Maboul (also spelled Aqsak Maboul for a while[nb 1]) were a Belgian avant-rock band founded in 1977 by Marc Hollander and Vincent Kenis. They made two studio albums, Onze Danses Pour Combattre la Migraine (1977) and Un Peu de l'Âme des Bandits (1980), the last one with ex-Henry Cow members Chris Cutler and Fred Frith. They were also active in the Rock in Opposition movement.[1][2]



Aksak Maboul began in 1977 as a duo of Marc Hollander (keyboards, reeds, percussion) and Vincent Kenis (guitar, bass guitar, keyboards). Marc Moulin (keyboards) and Chris Joris (percussion, keyboards) joined later, and with this line-up, plus guests Catherine Jauniaux (voice) and others, they recorded their first album, Onze Danses Pour Combattre la Migraine (French for "Eleven Dances for Fighting Migraine"). It was released in 1977 under the name Marc Hollander / Aksak Maboul on an independent record label, Kamikaze Records.[2][3]

Onze Danses Pour Combattre la Migraine was a playful mix of musical forms, cultures and genres. With drum machines and looping organ lines, it shuffled between improvised jazz, ethnic music, electronics and classical music. It was largely an instrumental album with snatches of singing and voices.[3]

In late 1977 Aksak Maboul started performing live, during which time Frank Wuyts (percussion, keyboards) replaced Joris and Moulin, and Denis van Hecke (cello) and Michel Berckmans (bassoon, oboe) of Univers Zéro joined.[4] In early 1979, Hollander invited Chris Cutler and Fred Frith of the recently defunct avant-rock group Henry Cow to join Aksak Maboul on their next record.[5] They rehearsed together, performed in a few concerts and then went to Sunrise Studio, Kirchberg in Switzerland to record their second album, Un Peu de l'Âme des Bandits (French for "A Little of the Bandit Spirit").[5] This was released in 1980 on Crammed Discs, a new independent record label Hollander had created to release the album.

Un Peu de l'Ame des Bandits was more intense and experimental than their first album. It contained complex written sections as well as improvised ambient pieces. It used sampling before samplers were invented and was a mixture of tangos, Turkish tunes, chamber rock, noisy punk rock and pseudo-Varèse music. Like the first album, it was instrumental with a little singing and voices.[2][4]

Back on the road again, Aksak Maboul joined the Rock in Opposition (RIO) movement and in April 1979 they performed at an RIO festival at the Teatro dell'Elfo in Milano, Italy. Aksak Maboul were one of the last of the original RIO bands.[6]

In early 1980, Hollander founded the Crammed Discs independent record label. A few months later the original nucleus of Aksak Maboul (Hollander and Kenis) and the core of a Brussels band Les Tueurs de la Lune de Miel joined forces to become The Honeymoon Killers. They toured Europe between 1980 and 1981, although still under the name Aksak Maboul. "Bosses de Crosses", one of the first pieces they composed, was included on the CD re-issue of Un Peu de l'Ame des Bandits. They later recorded an album Tueurs de la Lune de Miel / Honeymoon Killers and toured for a few months under that name.[4]

The last recorded work by Aksak Maboul appeared on a 1984 compilation album, Made to Measure Vol. 1, where the original duo of Hollander and Kenis contributed seven tracks of new material composed for a play by Michel Gheude based on the life of Maïakovsky.[7] The music here has been described as "minimalist rock" and is very different from their two studio albums.[1] By the mid-1980s Aksak Maboul ceased to exist as a group, but Hollander and Kenis continued to play an active role in Crammed Discs' musical policies.


Temporary members and guests

  • Marc Moulin – keyboards
  • Chris Joris – keyboards, soprano saxophone
  • Catherine Jauniaux – singing
  • Frank Wuyts – percussion, keyboards
  • Michel Berckmans – bassoon, oboe
  • Denis van Hecke – cello
  • Geoff Leigh – saxophones
  • Guigou Chenevier – drums
  • Fred Frith – guitars, bass
  • Chris Cutler – drums
  • Bob Vanderbob – saxophones
  • Yvon Vromman – guitar, vocals
  • Gérald Fenerberg – guitar
  • Jean-François Jones Jacob III – drums
  • Véronique Vincent – vocals



Studio albums

Appears on

  • Various artists: Made to Measure Vol. 1 (LP 1984, Made To Measure, Belgium) – Aksak Maboul contribute seven tracks of new material


  1. ^ On their first album, the band's name was spelled Aksak Maboul, "Aksak" being a Turkish word for "walking with a limp" (and used to describe the band's uneven, asymmetrical rhythms), and "Maboul" being a French word from the Arabic meaning "insane". When their second album was first released, the band's name changed, for reasons unknown, to Aqsak Maboul, but reverted to the original spelling again when the album was re-issued on CD in 1995.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "Aksak Maboul". The Gibraltar Encyclopedia of Progressive Rock. Retrieved 2008-07-23.  
  2. ^ a b c Deupree, Caleb. "Un Peu de l'Ame des Bandits". All Music. Retrieved 2008-07-23.  
  3. ^ a b "Aksak Maboul - Onze Danses Pour Combattre la Migraine". Crammed Discs. Retrieved 2008-07-23.  
  4. ^ a b c "Aksak Maboul - Un Peu de l'Âme des Bandits". Crammed Discs. Retrieved 2008-07-23.  
  5. ^ a b Cutler, Chris,. "Aqsak Maboul / Marc Hollander". Chris Cutler homepage. Retrieved 2008-07-23.  
  6. ^ Zampino, Phil. "Rock in Opposition". SquidCo. Retrieved 2008-07-23.  
  7. ^ "Various - Made To Measure Vol.1". Discogs. Retrieved 2008-07-23.  

External links


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