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dimanche 18 février 2018

Album de la Semaine

Room Me
Anaon


Critique de l'album, par Damien d'Electrophone

Faut-il encore parler de PJ Harvey lorsque l’on veut décrire la musique de Room Me ?  Depuis son premier EP Dirty Hotel, la messine marche sur les pas de la rockeuse du Dorset, mais elle semble depuis quelque temps vouloir s’émanciper de cette influence avouée. On a déjà pu remarquer cette nouvelle direction artistique avec son projet God’s Empire monté l’année dernière avec Jérôme Colombelli (Uneven Structure, Cult Of Occult). Tous les deux ont sorti un excellent EP éponyme mixant climat doom et ambiance rock.
Aujourd’hui,  avec ce nouvel effort solo,  Room Me continue sur cette lancée. Mises à part encore quelques touches PJHarveysques dans le chant et sur le titre « Sheets », la musique évolue vers des contrées plus sombres. Anaon, mot breton symbolisant l’ensemble des âmes des défunts et le lieu où elles se retrouvent, est à l’image de son titre : noir et mélancolique. Composé lors d’une année assez compliquée pour Anne-Sophie, ce nouvel album dévoile la part secrète de Room Me et parle de ce dont elle n’a jamais osé dire. Sans être cathartique, Anaon se révèle être un véritable exutoire pour la messine.
Beaucoup plus envoûtante que par le passé, Room Me se fait plus mystérieuse et féline en abordant des sujets aussi douloureux que la mort, la fin d’une histoire ou le passé. « The End », chant du cygne d’un album  parfait de bout en bout, est sans doute le morceau le plus inattendu de la part Room Me. Ce titre, qui voit la collaboration avec Jean-Claude Vandoom du groupe Lyonnais Cult of Occult, symbolise à lui seul toute la beauté ténébreuse de cet album.
Avec Anaon, Room Me livre son album le plus personnel et se révèle de la plus belle des façons.  Bye Bye PJ Harvey, bonjour Room Me.



Line Up :
Anne-Sophie Remy

Label :
Autoproduction

Tracklist :
01. The Encounter
02. Happy Ending
03. Love And Hate
04. Memories
05. My Death
06. Death smiles and dances are gone
07. Under the sheets
08. Wandering Shadow
09. The End - 6:10




dimanche 11 février 2018

Album de la Semaine

The Soft Moon
Criminal



Interview de Luis Vasquez, par Rockcult

Rockcult: Let’s talk about your new album Criminal, which will be released very soon. Are you satisfied with the response to your new singles Burn and It Kills?

Vasquez: Yeah. So far, so good. And this could be another single released on the 18’th [the interview has taken before the release of the third single “Choke”].

Rockcult: You worked again with Maurizio Baggio. How do you work together? Do you show him your finished demos, or you develop the ideas together in the studio?

Vasquez: I write everything in Germany, in Berlin, and all of the process is about nine months. I was flying back and forth once a month, back Italy in the studio where he works. I would bring something I wrote, like demos, basically. And in the studio with him I would further develop the songs. I would track live vocals, I would track live drums, things like that. Elements to complete the song.

Rockcult: Are there any differences between how you worked with Maurizio on Deeper and Criminal?

Vasquez: I would say it was quite the same. I think I gave him a little bit more freedom, you know, because I was so comfortable working with him on Deeper that this time I was more confident in him, in his work. So yeah, I let him have a little bit more input and let him share some more ideas. Let him be a little bit more closer. But the process is still pretty much the same.

Rockcult: I’ve listened to Criminal, and it’s a very hard, impressive and immersive album. It sounds even darker than Deeper, and it’s clear that you plunged into yourself even further. Did you think that you would have to do this after recording Deeper or did you want to write, you know, more positive album?

Vasquez: No, you know. After Deeper I felt like the follow-up album was gonna be a bit angrier, a bit darker. I felt on Deeper I let me be a little bit more pop on a few songs. So I think I naturally wanted to just, kind of, balanced that on the next record. Just make it a little bit harder. And also at the time when I was writing Criminal I was feeling a little bit more emotional, feeling a little bit more angry, so it was when I wasn’t enjoying myself in Berlin. And that’s why this record came out a little bit angrier and darker.

Rockcult: Yes, it really feels on the album.

Vasquez: Yeah (laugh).

Rockcult: What artists impressed you when recording Criminal? Do you listen to much music when recording an album or not?

Vasquez: Actually I don’t really listen to music when I’m writing because I’m too easily influenced by everything around me. So I’m trying to stay pure when I write, so what comes to me is very pure, you know.

Sometimes if I do listen to music, I listen to old stuff what I used to listen when I was a teenager, like old punk-rock bands and things like that. Or even old pop songs: I listen to Prince and something like that. I usually go back, I get nostalgic when I listen to music. But like I said, I try to stay completely pure: when I’m making music I don’t listen to other music usually.

Rockcult: What do you feel when you finish recording an album and think «Well, finally this long way is over»?

Vasquez: It’s interesting. When it’s the last day in studio, actually I’m quite sad, to be honest. It feels “wow”, ‘cause all the time it’s like, it’s all over now. The whole process is very emotional, it’s like a chapter in my life. So when I finish I feel pretty sad but then, of course, at the same time it’s very…it’s an accomplishment. So it feels very rewarding, and I look forward to converting the music to a live show. This is the next step.

Rockcult: I saw your show in Moscow 2 years ago during Deeper tour, and it was very cool. Are you planning to play in Russia with Criminal?

Vasquez: Yes, yes. Usually when I come up with the new album the tour is going for like a year. So we’ll definitely do a separate Eastern European tour for sure. And come to Russia and everything. For sure. 100% (laugh)

Rockcult: How much has the process of transforming your personal feelings and emotions into music changed for you since the debut album The Soft Moon? Did it become it easier or, vice versa, worse?

Vasquez: (sighs) Actually become harder. I feel like older and I’m learning more and more about myself. I think a lot more, I mean in my head, as I’m getting older. The process of writing music is almost like a torture to be honest. It’s hard when you had to face problems, you had to face with certain things about the past. In the beginning with the first record it was like nostalgic for me: I was writing about my childhood. But when I continued that path it’s definitely gonna harder for me. And writing music is hard, it’s like a burden. But then comes reward in the end. Once I get out and perform live, you know, it’s a release.

Rockcult: During Deeper release you said that you want to create an experimental side project. Are there still any plans about it or did you implement these ideas in The Soft Moon?

Vasquez: I think about it a lot. At the moment I’m planning on doing some writing while I’m on tour. But the thing is I’m gonna be very open-minded about it, and whatever I’m writing could be for Soft Moon or for side project.
Or also too I’m very interested in moving the direction of scoring films, composing music for film. That’s my next goal. And I put out some sort of soundtrack album or just write new tracks for the next Soft Moon album. I’m not sure, I’m just gonna write music and it feels really good just to say that, you know. To just write it and not being very open to what it could possibly lead to.

Rockcult: That’s great. John Foxx, with whom you had an inspiring collaboration, and who is one of my favorite musicians, recently told me in the interview that he considers Deeper one of the best albums in recent years.

Vasquez: Oh, cool.

Rockcult: Yeah. Can you name a few best albums for you in recent years?

Vasquez: Well, that’s always hard question for me (laugh). I don’t listen to much music anymore. I listen to music that I mentioned earlier. I’m always going to the past, you know. I’m very bad in keeping up with contemporary music, with what’s happening now.
I know there’s a lot of hip-hop right now (laugh). I guess it’s the biggest genre of music at the moment.
I can’t think any favorite things for me, and that’s such a hard question for me.

Rockcult: What can you advise for young musicians who doubt whether they should take risks and express themselves in their own music project?

Vasquez: So, for me it was… When I finally gave up trying to create something new, something different, when I finally stopped doing it, I decided to express myself completely honestly, and that’s when things worked up for me. So from me the biggest advice could be just to be pure with your expression. Express exactly who you are and don’t express anything false. Because people can see through that.

Rockcult: So Luis, thanks for the interview! It was an interesting conversation. I really like Criminal and I’m looking forward to see you in Russia.

Vasquez: Great, thank you! And yeah, see you for sure.


Line Up :
Luis Vasquez

Label :
Sacred Bones

Tracklist :
01 – Burn
02 – Choke
03 – Give Something
04 – Like a Father
05 – The Pain
06 – It Kills
07 – ILL
08 – Young
09 – Born Into This
10 – Criminal





dimanche 28 janvier 2018

Album de la Semaine

Exploded View
Summer Came Early


Interview de Exploded View, par The Seventh Hex

Exploded View is a collaborative project helmed by the UK-born, Berlin-based political-journalist-turned-musician Anika. After playing a string of 2014 solo shows in Mexico with a backing line-up composed of local producers Martin Thulin, Hugo Quezada and Amon Melgarejo, Anika and her new bandmates discovered a chemistry that they simply had to capture on tape. During their rehearsals in Mexico City, the four musicians discovered a new sound, several steps removed from the krautrock-isms of Anika’s previous work. Exploded View emphasises the talents of Anika and her collaborators in a new way, one that cuts through its improvisational roots with laser-focus and intent… We talk to Martin Thulin about feeling uncomfortable, Mexico City and a bedroom revolution…

TSH: Between rehearsals the band recorded jams and nothing was ever planned, things just fell into place. How pleasing was it to have this type of band dynamic from the outset?
Martin: It was so rewarding and really pleasing that things worked out in this way. I mean, I’m sat with my own music right now and it’s written in a completely different manner to how I worked with Exploded View. When you plan things too much, you sort of get lost, it becomes like a labyrinth. Me and Hugo left this material on the shelf and we were convinced nothing interesting was in there, but we listened back to the material and were both pleasantly surprised that we had some cool material to work with. The whole process was like an accident.

TSH: What was the task of producing like for you?
Martin: It was quite challenging actually. The first part of recording was just Hugo and me setting up equipment to register what we were doing. When we were listening back to the sounds and starting to edit the material, that was the mind-blowing part. I mean you think you have nothing and you suddenly find magic to work with.
TSH: It’s also been noted that Anika’s seamless vocals were improvised…
Martin: Yeah, and I think it might have been frustrating for her in the moment. I was reading a Brian Eno interview recently and he touched on the best thing that can happen to a band is creating at the exact point of feeling uncomfortable, and that’s exactly what happened with this record, including Anika’s vocals most probably too. We just felt extremely uncomfortable with everything we were doing.

TSH: Would you say that whilst Anika was dealing with a lot of anxieties and letting them out with the music, you guys offered a balance to her with your musical duels?
Martin: Yeah, it totally balanced out so well. At times, the recording process was like going to war between Anika and the rest of us! She was very frustrated and would insult the band, ha! We’d sort of insult her back with music. I found it all really interesting. Also, now that we’re recording new stuff, we’ve been doing it the same way, but what’s more difficult this time around is that we know each other a lot better - we’ve become closer and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing for the creative process.

TSH: What comes to mind when you look back at forming ‘Lost Illusions’?
Martin: Well, it was quite organic; we were simply just playing along. Although, there was something quite funny about it: Hugo was playing bass and I was in a separate room with the drums. Anyhow, there was a door nearby and Hugo was standing in the door playing bass, as his forehand was leaning towards the wall – he just looked so frustrated! So, yeah, this track was like the essence of frustration. I wish I had a picture of his frustration, ha! It’s that frustration word again, and it certainly came through on this song.

TSH: Also, ‘Killjoy’ is a track that you’re very fond of?
Martin: This track is quite fun to play live for me. When we were forming it there was this weird thing going on between Anika and me, we worked well on that one. From what I understand this song is a hate song. Also, when me and Anika team up and play this one live, we look at each and can laugh about it in a way.

TSH: With Exploded View you continue to get the opportunity to challenge the boundaries of live shows…
Martin: Yeah, I’ve played live with a lot of bands; it’s always the pinnacle because playing live takes everything to another level. I really am pleased that this album takes on a life of its own when we perform. However, when we recorded this album, it wasn’t supposed to be an album format, it was just us recording. I don’t even play drums normally and I was learning how to be a drummer, the band was playing things we don’t normally play. Now that we’ve each refined our skills, it makes the live shows more difficult to be spontaneous, but we are more on point.

TSH: You thoroughly enjoyed your recent Mexico performance…
Martin: It’s great to play in Mexico City and we do have a lot of fans here. It was a really interesting performance. In general, live shows in Mexico consist of people shouting and dancing – it’s more about physical movement and having a good time. However, I like it when music isn’t just something you dance to - it’s something you listen to too. So, the show we played in Mexico City was completely packed and people were just standing there listening, which was fantastic. The crowd was in awe, just looking at Anika perform. I found it really interesting because this normally never happens in Mexico.

TSH: Being situated in Mexico City, do you find the nature that you crave?
Martin: Well, I grew up in Sweden in a small town and now I’ve been living in Mexico for almost 25 years. It’s a huge city and really noisy. It’s not easy to get to nature at all. It takes a couple of hours to get to the city limits where you can walk in mountains and stuff like that. You know, it’s increasingly getting on my nerves, I have to say. I mainly stay at home and don’t go out because I can’t really deal with a big city, the traffic, the people and the noise. I do need to find a way to overcome this obstacle…

TSH: However, even though time is spent indoors, you are looking to make positive steps in being more active with regards to making change?
Martin: For sure. Recently I’ve been thinking about writing some stuff and I’ve been getting increasingly interested in politics, but more in a bedroom sense. In the wake of Trump, Brexit and growing fascism, I think it can be frustrating to read the news every day and to feel helpless. So, I’ve been thinking about how I can make change. It’s great that people are getting together and making change, I like that. Trump has forced people to wake up; people are getting angry and fighting for their rights. There’s a lot we can actually do from home without even organising a movement. I’m interested in spending time on writing something that could be a bedroom revolution. I don’t want to sit around and wait for politicians to do stuff, because we can do it ourselves.

TSH: What brings you most joy during your touring travels?
Martin: The people you meet. There wasn’t a single place that we played with Exploded View that didn’t take care of us and show us so much love, which is so nice. Everywhere we toured, we had such a great response from the audiences, the promoters and people within the city. You know, touring is hard work, you get really stressed and tired and the funny thing is you sort of only ever get brief half an hour moments of joy when you travel.

TSH: How do you see the future of Exploded View panning out?
Martin: Well, I feel that it’s really important that it’s always fun to do it, that’s the bottom line. Also, I don’t think we are afraid of breaking up the band in case it doesn’t satisfy us anymore. It’s really nice that we do have a formula for our improvised compositions, as well as adding improvising vocals – it’s totally unique. I think that we will continue down this path and explore this formula as long as it feels good and fun.

Line Up :
Anika Henderson
Hugo Quezada
Martin Thulin
Amon Melgarejo
Label :
Sacred Bones
Tracklist :
01 – Summer Came Early
02 – Forever Free
03 – Mirror of the Madman
04 – You Got a Problem Son