"Un peu de l'âme des bandits"
2. Palmiers En Pots
3. Geistige Nacht
4. I Viaggi Formano La Gioventu
5. Inoculating Rabies
6. Ce Qu'on Peut Voir Avec Un Bon Microscope
7. Alluvions

Originally released in January 1980, the second album from (Crammed founder) Marc Hollander's band was more intense and experimental than Aksak Maboul's debut album, yet often as playful. Containing complex written sections, free improv, and a wild variety of elements, Bandits was recorded with a band comprising revered UK musicians Fred Frith & Chris Cutler, who joined Aksak's then-current line-up of Michel Berckmans, Frank Wuyts, Denis Van Hecke and Hollander, plus guest vocalist Catherine Jauniaux.    

Un peu de l'âme des bandits
is described by All Music Guide as "a pinnacle of the RIO movement" (RIO being Rock In Opposition, the late-'70s radical, pan-European coalition of bands, which Aksak Maboul was part of). The album reached #3 in the NME's top ten European albums of 1980 (alongside Yello, The Nits, Steve Reich and Faust!).  

Available on CD since the '90s, the album came out again on vinyl in Feb. 2018. For this reissue, the album was remastered from original analogue tapes, and includes a booklet with abundant liner notes, documents, and recollections by all the participants.  

Also included in the LP is a bonus album entitled Before and After Bandits (CD+download), containing previously-unreleased live and demo recordings featuring no less than seventeen of the band's successive members and guests. Over the course of ten tracks and 78 minutes of music, this collection charts the sinuous evolution of the ever-morphing Aksak Maboul sound and reveals some of the missing links in the story, from the 1977 debut Onze danses pour combattre la migraine through the Bandits album, a little-documented avant-No Wave phase in 1980, the atypical, eclectic electropop of Ex-Futur Album, and until the band's current live incarnation, which started in 2015 after a hiatus of some 30 years. 

According to US writer Mikey IQ Jones (who penned the liner notes):  

Aksak Maboul are a brilliant, covert unit that managed to absorb the operations and thoughtforms of many seemingly oppositional aesthetics, fusing them into a sound that few really managed to extend or even emulate.    
Each of Aksak Maboul's three LPs stands as a sibling to the others, each with very distinct personalities and physical characteristics, yet sharing a very foundational chemical and aesthetic makeup – listening to their entire oeuvre, one recognizes melodies or polyrhythmic patterns from a song on one album subtly integrated into the body of one elsewhere.   

The roots of Aksak Maboul's appeal and longevity lie within the collective's shapeshifting lineup and their chameleonic aesthetic abilities; the group's ever-mutating sound is akin to a sonic möbius strip, always digesting and recontextualizing itself, where seams and edges show but continually fold in upon themselves as the madness evolves. The best part? That evolution hasn't yet ceased. 

Indeed: following the acclaimed 2014 release of its long-delayed 3rd opus Ex-Futur Album (assembled from unfinished material dating back to the early '80s, and issued under the name Véronique Vincent & Aksak Maboul), Aksak Maboul has taken to the stage in 2015 with a new line-up, and a fourth album is currently in the works. 

From the recollections in the album booklet: 

Un Peu de l'âme des bandits sounds like it could have been made yesterday, which is only one of the remarkable things about it. I have vivid memories of the recording sessions, one jaw-dropping performance after another.   
-Fred Frith   
Making this record was both a pleasure and an education; something like being invited to join the x-men - or some other collection of absurdly talented people for whom technical, aesthetic and imaginative problems offered little friction, leaving them free to concentrate solely on execution and interpretation.    
-Chris Cutler  

Un peu de l'âme des bandits line-up 
Michel Berckmans: bassoon, oboe   
Chris Cutler: drums
Fred Frith: bass, guitar, violin  
Marc Hollander: keyboards, woodwind  
Catherine Jauniaux: voice  
Denis Van Hecke: cello  
Frank Wuyts: keyboards

Before and After Bandits (bonus CD) line-up 
Michel Berckmans: bassoon, oboe   
Guigou Chenevier: drums   
Christophe Claeys: drums   
Chris Cutler: drums     
Gérald Fenerberg: guitar   
Fred Frith: bass, guitar   
Faustine Hollander: bass   
Jean-François Jones Jacob III: drums  
Marc Hollander: keyboards, woodwind   
Chris Joris: percussion    
Vincent Kenis: guitar, bass    
Geoff Leigh: flute, sax   
Sebastiaan Van den Branden: synth   
Denis Van Hecke: cello   
Véronique Vincent: vocals   
Yvon Vromman: guitar, vocals   
Frank Wuyts: keyboards 

appearing in ten previously-unreleased live/demo tracks   
recorded between April 1977 and April 1980 (except track 10 in February 2015).


Ex-Futur Album
AKSAK MABOUL - Onze danses pour combattre la migraine (vinyl reissue)
Onze danses pour combattre la migraine (vinyl reissue)
AKSAK MABOUL - Un peu de l'âme des bandits
Un peu de l'âme des bandits
AKSAK MABOUL - Onze danses pour combattre la migraine
Onze danses pour combattre la migraine