« Amphetamine reptile dans ton salon » (Bug – Usine, 1er nov.)

Bar In Grad, c’est la version light de Kalvingrad. Concerts un peu plus tôt que d’habitude, prix libre. On commencera directement avec BUG, vu qu’une arrivée tardive ne permet pas d’apprécier le set de Bar, ni celui de Lunch à Urgence disk un peu plus tôt – qui, paraît-il, étaient tous deux très bons dans leur style. L’Usine, on pourrait y passer sa vie.

Bug, drôle de bestiole. Une vingtaine d’années d’existence, environ huit disques à leur actif, une notoriété plutôt relative. C’était la première fois que les Autrichiens passaient à l’Usine. Musicalement, c’est aussi déviant et rétif à la classification. Touche-à-tout. Blues titubant implosant en noise-rock chauffé à blanc. Disco vrillant à la crise de nerf. L’expression de Bruno Drone to the bone – « blackened noise-rock » – résume assez bien la chose.

Sur scène, c’est d’abord la présence du chanteur qui marque. Pas trop d’inhibition, ni au niveau vestimentaire ni au niveau de la danse. John Travolta d’Allemagne de l’est qui aurait fait un tour par la case prison. Ultra-expressif, théâtral, il incarne et orchestre la folie du groupe. Des flashs du concert de The Conformists – autre band conduite par un crooner excentrique – reviennent à l’esprit.

Moins démonstratifs, le reste du groupe ne fournit pas moins une performance irréprochable. Honnêtes artisans d’un noise-rock obscur, frelaté. On pressent parfois un air de famille avec les groupes géniaux d’Europe du nord comme Arabrot ou Raketkonen. Eux aussi conviés par Drone to the bone dans ces murs par le passé. Tiens, tiens.

L’originalité, la sincérité et l’engagement du groupe font de ce concert un moment mémorable. Groupe génial devant une poignée de personnes.

On est habitués.

>>>>>>>>>> BUG

>>>>>>>>>> DRONE TO THE BONE

« ChAOS = OK » (Varukers, The Turin horse – 10 oct.)

Affiche plutôt européenne ce soir-là à l’Usine – comme l’a fait remarqué quelqu’un. Les lillois de Psychophore (avec un(e) membre de 20 minutes de chaos) jouaient d’abord, suivis de Coupe-gorge, un groupe punk-oï genevois très actif en ce moment. J’étais pas là pour ces deux groupes mais quiconque veut savoir ce qu’il en était peut regarder ici ou .

Arrivée tardive donc, au milieu du set des punks anglais The Varukers. Groupe historique assez proche,  idéologiquement et musicalement, de Discharge, dont il compte – ou comptait, suis pas allé vérifié – des membres. Le chanteur annonce que le groupe célèbre ses 40 ans d’activités l’an prochain. Ce qui d’ailleurs ne fait pas réagir grand monde. Est-ce que c’est du au degré d’ébriété dans le public ou au niveau moyen du punk genevois en anglais, ça j’en sais rien.

N’empêche que leur set reste bien agressif. Toutes crêtes dehors, avec paroles haineuses contre les gouvernements, le capitalisme et la guerre et accent anglais à couper au couteau, comme il se doit. Enrico, le guitariste de Turin horse qui joueront juste après, racontera que, lorsqu’il est monté sur scène à la fin du set pour féliciter le guitariste, celui-ci lui a répondu « C’est sympa, mec, mais j’en ai rien à foutre. » Ha ha.

Initialement prévus à la Makhno, à l’étage au-dessus, The Turin Horse avaient été rajoutés sur l’affiche. L’occasion de mélanger les publics, aussi bien. Le 1er EP de ce duo turinois avait fait carrément forte impression et on peut d’ailleurs lire son interview par ici.

Enrico – T-shirt de Père Ubu, petit, trapu et jovial – et Alain –  longiligne, tatoué, plus réservé – sont deux gars à priori assez différents. Mais sur scène c’est une seule et même créature enragée, écumante et tentaculaire. On reconnait The regret song et The light that failed, les deux morceaux du EP – pas de reprise d’Unsane ce soir-là . Et on découvre tout un tas de brulôts tirés des mêmes charbons ardents, qui devraient fournir la matière de l’album à venir. L’ambiance est à peine tempérée par un morceau plus calme, atmosphérique et menaçant, au mileu du set. Comme du Pink floyd acide.

C’est quand même autre chose de les voir sur scène. On se rend compte de la précision et de la force de frappe du duo. Emotionnel, chaotique et évocateur, leur noise-rock furieux transcende les genres et pourrait certainement parler à des gens de tous horizons. En tous cas, il a fait le bonheur des 15 personnes présentes, qui hurlent leur enthousiasme à chaque morceau et empêchent le groupe de quitter la scène à la fin du concert.

Ben ouais, il y a encore des gens prêts à rester éveillés jusqu’à deux heures du mat en semaine pour être témoins de ça.

>>>>>>>>>>>> THE TURIN HORSE

>>>>>>>>>>>> THE VARUKERS

>>>>>>>>>>>> DRONE TO THE BONE

« Science of nonsense » : an interview with Frana

A trail of fanzine reviews and band connections led me to Frana and their own brand of twisted, frantic and yet melody-driven punk-rock. One thing leading to another, the Italian foursome is coming to rock Geneva beginning of November and Luca (vocals, guitar) and Francesco (bass) accepted to answer this little interview.

There’s something in your sound – especially in the voice – that reminds me of some post-punk bands from the 1980s. Are you interested in bands of that period?

Luca : Hmm… The 80s… Hmm… Not sure, my references are more placed in the 90s. But I don’t know, most of the time I just do something clueless of where it comes from.

Francesco : It’s not the first time somebody makes this connection. After one of our last shows, a guy from the audience told Luca that he sings just in the same way as Boon from Minutemen – of course he doesn’t recall this. Talking for myself, some of my favorite all-time punk bands are from the 80s. Take Hüsker Dü, Mission of Burma, Big Black, Fugazi. We actually recorded a version of Chartered Trips by Hüsker Dü in a tribute compilation by TBTCI.

And I love 80s brit post-punk, which I think is a mandatory inspiration for a bass player. Wire, Gang of Four, Joy Division…


I believe you live far away from each other. How do you manage to make the band work nevertheless? Can you see any positive aspects to this situation?

L : It has been more complicated than this. Frana was born in Germany. Francesco and I lived in Munich for a few years, and there it all started. We had no friends and we decided to start a band. Then in 2015 both of us moved back to Italy. It’s complicated… at some point we were living 1000 kilometers away from one another with the Alps in between: drummer in Munich, bass player in Florence, guitar player in Genova and myself in Milano. It’s much better right now, just a few hundred kilometers, we sort of manage to practice regularly. Positive aspects? Hmm… not many. Well, we don’t see each other so often, so we have no chance to get annoyed by each other. Lol.

F : Yeah, I live in Florence, but we are all within 300 km from each other. The key to success with this situation are trains and highways… We found some sort of balance. Writing a record in this configuration was very different from what I was used to before. You know, you can’t just go to the practice room and dick around. You have to make the best out of every session and do your homeworks. Maybe you can say it’s even more efficient, just maybe.

The cover of your LP, « Awkwardwards », is pretty cool. Who drew it?

L : Silvia Sicks, a friend we have first met when we played in Rome. I had an idea for some crazy drawings, I tried to explain it to her and she nailed it ! She’s also a songwriter and we’ll play a couple of shows together with her acoustic project “Tunonna”. My favorite element on the cover is the flying cement-mixer-monster, it is the very same “Panpo, the destroyer” that gives the title to the album’s second track. The cover tries to express what is the “Awkwardwards”. This is obviously a self-made word, which could be rephrased as “towards the awkward”. Besides the meaning, I like it coz it sounds quite wrong.

There seems to be quite a lot of nonsense involved in the aesthetics of Frana. Nonsense can be seen as a response to a bewildering situation. So what are the bewildering situations you are reacting to, if any?

L : I like the nonsense and I use it a lot, for fun or sometimes even as a way of life. I like it better than struggling to find deep meanings, as in our lyrics. It’s a fairly free expression of something you have in mind, outside the typical borders, and the boredom of rationality. Clearly, nonsense is never really nonsense… If your brain produced something, some association of words, some ideas that might look random, it’s never really nonsense, just you don’t understand it, maybe you will one day, maybe you won’t ever. There’s always something more than mere aesthetics.

F : I guess the whole universe is fairly bewildering, when you think about it. I mean, not so long ago, dinosaurs were ruling the earth. “God creates dinosaurs, God destroys dinosaurs. God creates Man, man destroys God. Man creates dinosaurs.” Will we ever witness the end of our galaxy, swallowed altogether by a supermassive black hole? Nah, I guess we’ll awkwardly destroy ourselves and everything else, well before that point.

Are there any band or artists that you found particularly inspiring in that (non)sense ?

F : Devo. Very surrealistic. Shellac as well. And how to forget Blue by Eiffel 65.

Do you think a rock song can reach the status of a classical piece of art or will it remain a piece of pop culture, easily consumed and then forgotten ?

L : Well, music is on the internet nowadays. So as long as the internet exists, music exists, even if it’s gonna be forgotten, it’s gonna be still there, ready to be discovered again.

F : That’s a difficult one…I don’t see a clear contrast between art and pop culture. The border is fading.

What are the italian or german bands that are close to your hearts and that we should be aware of ?

L : On the german side, I’ll go for Trigger Cut, brand new band. Our former drummer plays in there with Ralph that we know from Buzz Rodeo (RIP). My pick of the week it’s them, they just released some very juicy material and we’ll be sharing the stage with them in January.

F : The Italian side on me. Check out Lleroy, cool people and furious shows.

You guys are creating music, putting out records and touring regularly in a DIY/independent network. What is the best thing about that and what is the one that you like the least?

L : The best part of it is that people do that only because of passion and enthusiasm, because they feel it and the want to do it, no money is involved. The other side of the coin is that it’s difficult, as there’s no money involved it’s hard to manage shows, get even with traveling costs. And the record market, at least in Italy, it’s quite down, as much as the “generational change” failed. Young kids are not interested in rock and punk music anymore, so bands grow old together with their audience.

Do you like reading about music? Is there any magazine or website that you check regularly?

F : I regularly check a few zines, like Perte et Fracas. But to find new stuff I mostly rely on friends’ opinions and word of mouth. Very old school and not much time.

 

Are you active in any other way in the punk-rock scene, musically or otherwise?

L : In the past, back in 2004-2009, I used to organize shows in Milan and the suburbs in several squats and bars. When I moved to Munich, I started over, it took a while but I used to organize shows in a very lovely spot called Kafe Marat. Now, that I moved back to Milan, I’m not putting up shows, at least for the moment, not much time and no place where I can do it, but I’m trying to get back doing that. That’s my personal contribution, besides playing in bands, to the punk-rock-noise-metal-hardcore-whatever-diy scene.

You’re going to play Geneva in November. Can you tell us a little bit about this tour?

F : Well, that weekend we have been invited to play in Stuttgart…Geneva is right on the way back to Milan, glad it worked out! It will be our first time in Geneva. The following week we’ll be playing a bunch of shows in south France. Then Italy, with some more shows in November and December, and more Germany in January (for all the dates check our Facebook page). We love to play in Switzerland, we used to know the guys from Deadverse (RIP)… We should do definitely do it more often. Book us if you like our stuff !

>>>>>>>>>> FRANA

Exo-planets of noise-rock : an interview with YC-CY

Swiss German band YC-CY totally blew some of us out last year with their Todestanz Lp (including a song that is compulsary listening). So their show in La Makhno (Usine, Geneva) in May was a chance not to be missed. « It’s the first time we’re doing an interview », says YC-CY guitarist Mike, almost shily, with no suspicion of what a pleasure it is for the interviewer to record the carefully thought-out answers of the young band – kind of felt like taking the pulse of a sportsman. This conversation took place on the upper floor of l’Usine. Mike, Rune (voice) and Gregor (drums) were sitting on the beds. Remo (bass) was on a ladder breathing the smoke of a cigarette out in the night. And this is what we said.

Is there any special meaning behind the name YC-CY ?

Mike : No, we like it because it is symmetrical. I think it is interesting because it doesen’t mean anything but it makes you think about what it could mean.

I thought maybe it meant « Why see ? See why ! »…

Rune : Nobody thought about that.

Mike : I thought about it ! That’s my favourite version of the name, actually.

Is there a will from your part to make something a bit obscure, not so easily accessible ?

Mike : We don’t necessarily look for it but we are probably like that so it just automatically happens. Like for example on the first record all the names of the songs are animals in German. We didn’t have any lyrics at first so we just named the songs by the animals that they reminded us of. And then we thought, cool ! Why not ? A lot of stuff about the band seems really planned out but it’s really spontaneous.

Remo : And on the second album it’s all exo- planets.

Mike : Planets that are not in our solar system.

There’s always this notion of distance. Exo-planets, it’s… far away !

Mike : Exactly. And then the cover looks like space with an an explositon but it’s really a photo of the ocean and the thing that looks like an explosion is a jellyfish.

It’s not really easy to label your music. How do people react to it ?

Mike : People who like punk music think it’s interesting but also a little weird. And then there’s some people who are looking for that kind of music.

Remo : There is not really a scene for this kind of music and when we started we were really wondering if people would like it. When you’re writing punk or hardcore you know people will like it.

Are you talking about your local scene or in general ?

Mike : Some of our worst shows are at home. I honestly just think they don’t like that kind of music that much. Which is totally understandable.

Remo : And playing more shows and finding people that are interested in that kind of music or playing with other bands that do similar type of music outside of Switzerland made us realize yeah there is a scene we didn’t know about !

Rune : People walking out at shows. It’s always funny. It’s not really a thing that you would wish to yourself. We sound so weird that people don’t know what to do with it. At least you can protect yourself with that kind of thought.

Mike : It’s a reaction at least !

Rune : And then you discover that there are actually some people who listened to it, who actually know some songs and have come to the show and you don’t have to protect youself anymore.

Mike : When we go on tour, we never expect too much. One night it’s crowded and everybody’s dancing and the next it’s ten people and they don’t care !

So do you find punk music too conservative ?

Remo : We all wanted to do something new but we all like punk bands as well.

Mike : All these conservative – if you want to call it that – punk bands, we all like them. But we’ve played in a lot of bands already so we wanted to try something new. But we like the Ramones !

What is a good concert for you ? What type of contact with your audience are you looking for ?

Mike : I really like when people dance cause to me the music is really dancy. But I don’t know if it comes across like that always. I don’t see it as hardcore at all. I see it as just dancy but really dark and spacy.

Rune : We played our first concert in April and – we had that in Milano before – people really engaged with the music, pushing the stage, almost pushing me off the stage. It’s a really infectious thing, this excitement, this vibe that everybody gets into, where you will do some stuff that you wouldn’t necessarily do normally.

Mike : People kind of forget about themselves and just let loose. And then when the band stops everyone is normal again. It’s cool, I think. It’s interesting.

Rune : It can also be a good show when people just liked it. Or they didn’t like it but you just had fun.

Are there any bands that you saw and that inspired you to cross boundaries and do your own thing ?

Remo : We talked about it before a little bit. Some yeaurs ago we came here in l’Usine to see Retox. I didn’t know them and didn’t expect anything. It was different, really powerfull and the audience had this punk spirit but the music was not something that usual punk bands would play. It was weird but really intense. That was one influence. Punk but different.

Rune : I admire bands that can put on a really crazy show even if not much is going on. Just doing their thing. I don’t really understand how you do that.

Mike : They’re just really confident. About your original question, I think we all really like The Cure. Heavy but not melodic and not hard. A little funky, a little dancy. that’s what we’re trying to do as well.

Do you think that local scenes still have a relevance in our internet age ?

Mike : Yeah, definitely. We live in a really small town but the scene there is really good. There are record stores and studios, places to play and a lot of bands. Even an independent radio station and they play our songs ! Nothing to complain about, really. I just believe that it’s really not the kind of music that people who live there want to listen to.

Are you active in any other ways in your local scene, apart from the band ?

Remo : Yeah, we are setting up shows, playing in a lot of local bands as well. (Remo has also started a label called order05records and Mike is playing in the experimental band Tumortumor. – Ed.) We were doing shows in our practice space for a while. When we did the first show, we were kind of expecting the police to turn up because the place is like an apartement in a basement but then we ended up putting up shows there regularly !

Mike : There are also clubs where we know the people and where we sometimes do shows.

Do you like reading about music ? Do read any special website or magazine ?

Remo : Yeah, I really like to read interviews when they go a little deeper than the usual questions. And also band biographies and books about music.

Mike : I really like Ox fanzine. I check that out for reviews mainly. And I just discovered Perte & fracas. He reviewed one of our records and now I check that out too. We’ve all done French at school but we never use it. So I can read in French, even if it sometimes take me a long time to understand. I feel he’s always spot on and knows a lot about music. I’ve discovered a lot of records. He’s probably my favourite… I even like Noisey and Vice and all that stuff.

Remo : The book that I’m going to read next is called Fight your own war. It’s about the noise-punk scene. And we talked about Retox. I read two of Justin Pearson’s books, too. The first one was OK but then the second one I hated.

Mike : The second one made me dislike him a bit too…

OK, next question ! Your two records have come out on X-Mist records. Can you tell me how it happened ?

Remo : We released the first record by ourselves – 100 lps, we didn’t know if anybody was going to buy it. Somehow he heard it, made a review and really liked it. So he ordered a lot of Lps. Half of them I think. When it sold out, he did a repress, and then another repress. And then he told us that if we were going to do a new album and he liked it, he wanted to have us on his label.

The sound is a bit different on the second album. Did you go to a different studio ?

Remo : (Laughs) We didn’t go to a studio for the first one! We recorded in our rehearsal space. We did it all by ourselves. We didn’t know what to expect and then when we were mixing it and it was coming together, I was like « Wow ! This sounds really good ! Who knows, maybe someone will like it ? »

Mike : We didn’t know what we were doing. It was a lot of work to do it ourselves.

Rune : Insanely stupid !

Remo : We lived in the studio during five days for the second album. Became kind of friends with the guy who recorded us, who was really into it.

Mike : He was super sweet. We’ll probably go there again for the next album.

Which should be on your label, Remo ?

Remo : Maybe, we’re not sure yet.

Did you play some new songs tonight ?

Mike : Yeah, two. We’re trying them out. I think, just like the second record is more dancy than the first one, the next one is going to be even more dancy.

You’re very much into dance (laughs). Do you like dancing ?

Mike : A lot.

Remo : We wanna do horror disco !

Mike : Even, like, gothic… I love it.

You guys have very lively and rythmic parts and other that are more ambient/noisy stuff. It makes the songs quite long – that’s good – and during the shows you don’t have a lot silence.

Remo : We try to have one long song as the whole set !

Mike : When you’re watching a band and you’re really into it and after the songs it’s like « CRRRRR… » and it’s quiet. I think it’s nice when it’s more like a movie. There’s always something happening and you’re never getting out of it. And if you don’t like it, it’s like torture ! (Laughs) It’s good because of the contrast. The long parts seem longer and the fast songs more chaotic. It’s like a rollercoaster. Only long songs would be boring but the two different parts kind of charm each other… I think.

Plans for the future ?

Remo : This year we’re going to try to record a new album and then play a lot of shows.

Mike : We have a lot of songs already.

>>>>>>>>>> YC-CY

>>>>>>>>>> ORDER05RECORDS

>>>>>>>>>> TUMORTUMOR

« L’oeil du cyclone » (MoE – Cave 12, 20 juin)

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« Imagine un mélange entre Napalm death et Shellac. » C’est la comparaison rapide que j’avais trouvée pour décrire MoE à un copain qui ne connaissait pas. « Pas facile. », il avait répondu. Et pas tout a fait exact non plus, mais ça donne une idée de pourquoi ça valait largement le coup de faire le trajet jusqu’à Genève et Cave 12 ce mercredi-là.

Quasiment déserte et très tranquille lorsqu’on arrive. En fait, je crois que Cave 12 ne se remplit qu’à la nuit. Les Norvégiens – qu’on veut rencontrer pour une interview –  sont déjà là. Mais, fatigués par un trajet depuis Oslo beaucoup plus long que prévu et parsemé d’incidents de sécurité inquiétants, on ne les croisera pas trop avant le concert.

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Il débute devant une audience assez restreinte. On est mercredi et il fait très beau et puis c’est la coupe du monde, hein. Pas grave, le trio est là pour nous en mettre plein les oreilles et les mirettes et arborent des éléments de costume à paillettes. Batteur imperturbable sous sa cagoule fourrée qui lui donne des airs de teletubby gothique, qui casse sa caisse claire dès les premières secondes mais continue sur les toms comme si de rien n’était. Rien n’arrête la machine MoE quand elle est lancée.

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Relents de doom/stoner lourdingues. Pics de tension punk hardcore. Crise noise aigüe, soubresauts schizo, tension qui s’affole. MoE brouille les pistes, orchestre un chaudron brûlant où se fond tout ce qui est sauvage, tout ce qui se tend, éructe, se déchaine.

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Cette tension de malade, ces éclats de folie en rafales  sont servis par la technique irréprochable des trois musiciens confirmés, qui sont tous actifs dans des projets très différents, jazz, improvisé ou autre. Faut écouter sur disque pour comprendre – quoiqu’au final l’expérience en live soit assez différente, très organique.

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Pas de pit formaté ici. Pas de violence ritualisée. Sans forcer, sans rien imposer, le groupe communique juste une folie qui infuse progressivement dans le public présent et le concert se termine dans des danses sauvages et des cris enthousiastes.

La soirée se terminera pas des rencontres et discussions bien agréables, au son de la sélection « pre-summertime » des DJs locaux. Black flag, c’est en effet totalement pre-summertime. Cave 12 ne ment jamais.

>>>>>>>>>> MOE

 

 

A night with The Ex : an interview with Arnold de Boer (The Ex)

 

 

Oh, damn ! Pretty stoked to present our first collaboration with David « Almighty » Livegeneva TV : a lenthy interview of The ex’s singer Arnold de Boer, mixed with live footage. It’s not perfect but it’s cool. Enjoy !

Oh, bon sang ! Bien contents de présenter notre première collaboration avec David « Tout-puissant » LivegenevaTV : une longue interview du chanteur de The ex, Arnold de Boer, mixée avec des extraits de concert. C’est pas parfait mais c’est cool. Enjoy !

>>>>>>>>>>> THE EX

>>>>>>>>>> LIVEGENEVATV

« La branche déviante de la famille » (Pilier, YC-CY – la Makhno, 10 mai)

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A proprement parler, on peut pas vraiment dire qu’il y ait d’organisation consacrée au noise-rock dans la région Annecy/Genève. Ca reste un peu le vilain petit canard, la branche déviante de la famille. Le cousin pas sortable. La cousine transgenre. Mais, au final, il n’y a pas trop à se plaindre car, dans la programmation des uns ou des autres, il y a régulièrement des noms inespérés, des coups de folie.

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La soirée commençait avec le hardcore-punk des locaux de Pilier. Eruction continue de rythmiques rapides et de riffs rentre-dedans, sans temps mort, dans un esprit très proche des Annemassiens de Wrensh. Hardcore droit au but, sans le métal en quelque sorte. Bon sang, heureusement qu’il y a encore des groupes comme ça.

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On sent le groupe habitués du lieu. Et le public, qui assure l’ambiance joviale. Ils se laisseront même convaincre par un rappel.

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Les Suisses allemands de YC-CY  ont peu joué par ici. Ils viennent de sortir leur 2e album sur le label allemand X-Mist et faisaient une courte tournée de trois dates dans l’est de la France.

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Leur musique semble provenir d’un lieu non-cartographié. Atmosphérique et bruitiste, violente et émotionnelle, dansante et expérimentale. A équidistance du post-punk, du hardcore, de la noise. A l’image du génialissime Kepler-186f, qu’il joueront en deuxième et qu’il faut absolument écouter. Ce morceau mérite à lui seul le nom de Todestanz – Danse de la mort -, le titre de leur album.

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Pulsation puissante de la batterie, réduite à sa plus simple expression, qui capte les regards. Bassiste en retrait, les yeux clos – des images de Joe Lally de Fugazi reviennent en flash. Sonorités incongrues que le guitariste tire de son instrument. Des airs de synthé vérolé. Chanteur coincé aux abords du public, plié sur son micro.

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La charge fût relativement brève mais intense. Comme leurs copains allemands de YASS, YC-CY dessine un noise-rock du futur – ou du présent, tout simplement – qui donne grandement envie de continuer à suivre ce que donne ce groupe.

 

>>>>>>>>>> PILIER

>>>>>>>>>> YC-CY

 

L’Orchidée cosmique + Spanked (Brise-Glace, 18 avril)

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La petite salle du sous-sol du Brise-Glace – dite « club » – propose régulièrement des concerts de groupes locaux (ou pas). C’était le tour de L’Orchidée cosmique ce soir-là, suite à une résidence qui a d’ailleurs donné lieu à la réalisation d’une vidéo.

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L’Orchidée attaque déjà son dernier morceau lorsque j’entre dans la salle. Dommage, toujours un plaisir de se laisser emporter par les sonorités aériennes et les constructions étonnantes de sa musique, somme toute très ludique et accessible.

Plein de bonnes nouvelles du garçon, en tous cas. Un enregistrement prévu, avec une sortie sur un label parisien.

spankt 2.JPGOriginaires de Besançon, Spanked étaient les invités de L’Orchidée. Le duo vient de sortir son deuxième album. Si leur musique évoque des références assez évidentes, du côté de Seattle par exemple, elle n’hésite pas à sortir aussi de sa zone de confort.

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Jeu assez technique et hyper dynamique pour le batteur et atmosphères parfois plus lourdes et lancinantes du côté de la guitare ou du chant. Spanked propose une musique rentre-dedans et variée qui tiendra bien en haleine les personnes présentes.

Les discussions post-concert révèleront des personnes humbles et très accessibles. Malheureusement, la convivialité du lieu est limitée et il a fallu y mettre un terme plus tôt que ce qu’on aurait souhaité. A une prochaine !

>>>>>>>>>> L’ORCHIDEE COSMIQUE

>>>>>>>>>>> SPANKED

The non-philosophy of noise-rock : a (posthume) interview with Buzz rodeo

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We all love it when a plan comes together. Such was the case when Stuttgart-based trio Buzz rodeo said they were available to play with local emo-rockers Nurse at their album release party in Le Poulpe. Meeting Ralph, Daniela and Helge was a blast and, on stage, the dry, angular and yet melodic noise-rock of the Germans seriously kicked asses. It came all the more as a surprise, then, to learn that the band had disbanded a few days later, putting their west-European tour to a brutal halt. So much for rock’n roll. Anyway, they let none of that out on that night and were happy to answer some of my usual questions. Here is what they had to say.

OK Buzz rodeo, let’s go  ! Your songs are really well built, noisy but very coherent, so I guess this is not your first band experience… Could you tell us a little bit about your musical pasts ?

Ralph (guitar/voice) : We played in a band called Are we electric ? It was instrumental surf-punk-math-rock (laughs) ! And I played before in a band called Mink Stole et Helge played in Craving, I played in Bhang dextro. We had four 7 ‘’ out in the 90s.

Helge (drums) : The drummer of Bhang dextro left and then I came and we formed Are we electric ? together.

Ralph : Are we electric ?, Mink Stole and an unknown band called Lightning ships… And Tiger Shower Caps !

And you, Daniela ?

Daniela (bass) : I played in an all-girl band. A cover band.

How is the integration in Buzz rodeo going ? (Daniela has been in the band for one year)

D : Very good ! I love the music, I love the songwriting…

R : The guys ! (Laughs)

D : Yeah. Ralph is a bit special…

R : (Funny voice) Very special !

D : Helge is my flying teacher ! He is such a good drummer that playing bass with him is like flying ! And Ralph, he is…

R : … (Unidentified german word, better not to translate.)

D : No, an endless source of songs… In three days, he can do…

R : … one album ? (Laughs)

That was actually my next question : what is the writing process to achieve these songs that you recognize almost immediately ?

R : I just come to the rehearsal and play some riffs… and the others build it up !

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Your last album was published on a polish label – Antena krzyku -, can you pronounce that name for me ?

R : We say « Antena Kryschkou », but we don’t really know…it might not be the exact way… (Laughs)

Can you tell us a bit about this label ?

R : Its is 30 years old, at some time it was forbidden in Poland. Too political, or something like that… It’s a really cool guy who runs the label !

How did you meet him ?

R : He wrote to me on Facebook and we talked and talked and talked. I hadn’t noticed that he had a label. Three weeks later, he was like « Hey, I’ve got this label » and I was like « WHAT ?!! ». He has many bands on his label from all over the world. And not only noise-rock : hardcore-punk, balkan rock, he has all… But he loves noise-rock and post-punk ! He was the roadie for The Ex in the 80s and 90s, he was all over Europe with them.

D : And the best thing is that he doesn’t tell us what we should do…

R : Most of the promotion we do by ourselves, on Facebook…

Yeah, I’ve seen it once or twice… (Everybody laughs out really loud, Ralph being a serial Facebook poster.)

R : But you have to do this ! There are so many bands out there ! Many bands say fuck self-promotion, but it’s not my opinion…

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Do you think this has changed ? In the 90s, there used to be quite a lot of fanzines that bands would use for their promotion…

R : Yeah, I personnally read Maximum rock’n roll, Flipside, Heartattack and the German ones : Ox fanzine

H : And Trust. Trust is better !

R : And Skyscraper magazine and Copper press. And Magnet magazin in the 90s. And another German one in the 90s : Spex.

D : But the change is that you have more direct contact with fans. With social media, you collect them step by step, you talk with them directly. We send the teeshirts, the records by ourselves…

R : We write little messages, include them in the package. We built this Buzz rodeo thing mostly on Facebook.

Then do you think local scenes still have a relevance when you can be in touch with a guy in South america and organize a tour…

R : Local networks yes but not with the local scene… Not so many bands and they are much younger than us. But we have connections all around the world. The guys call us : Hey, come to Russia, come to Australia ! The next step would be to tour the US but… we are afraid of Trump ! Could be a horror trip !

Are these easy connections all good experiences ?

R : In general, you can rely on people, yes.

D : Things happen…

R : Yeah, but I would say 90 % is good. No assholes ! It works !

You seem to be very active : writing, recording, touring. Do you have music-related jobs ? Or flexible jobs ?

R : I’m a landscaper. Self-employed, so when we play, I have no money. But I can do what I want.

D : I’m in a sound studio that does advertising : radio spots, TV spots and videos… The day has 24 hours and it’s always full. When I do stuff for Buzz rodeo, I can’t work so much. But it’s OK.

H : I’m a teacher for fair-trade shops…

R : We can’t live from music only ! So far but… it can change ! (Laughs)

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Can you tell what bands are worth listening to in Germany right now ?

R : German bands ? That’s the hardest question ! (Laughs) Heads…. Not many that I prefer listening to…

H : You have to take a few minutes to think about this… Kurt… Ten Volt shock is cool ! Yass…

R : Party diktator. They have a new band called Waran… I personnally listen to American or UK bands : Blacklisters, Usa nails… And all the 90s stuff : Touch and go, Amphetamine reptile, Dischord, Trance syndicate… This shit… And I love Peru, from Poland. they’re great !

H : Frana… Porch… We toured with them in the UK.

You – especially Ralph – seem to be real noise-rock freaks, how would you define the essence of it – the philosophy of noise-rock – to people who don’t know about it and surely want to know ?

D : Good question…

R : We are really loud… and dirty. Well, … I don’t know ! (Laughs)

D : In the end, it’s just music. A matter of taste…

R : My roots are more in the UK post-punk scene. The Fall, stuff like that… Television personalities, Gang of four are my personal favourites. The guitar-player is god !

D : Music just makes peole feel something. You can say I love that but you can’t say what the philosophy of it is !

(Follows a discussion on how music can touch people in different ways…)

R : A new record is in the works : fifteen new songs ready to be recorded. We hope we can go to Blackbox studio, in France. We have contacts with Albini too but it was too expensive for us. But it would be a good thing, recording with him in the near future.

So you’re planning to have the new album out this year ?

R : Yeah, on the same label, Antena Kryzku. Of course.

 

Post scriptum

On latest news, Ralph has started a new band project with Sasha (ex-Frana) on drums and Daniel (Buzz rodeo sound guy) on bass. To be continued…

 

All black and white pictures are from Dylan D. Breed. Thanks to him again.

 

>>>>>>>>> MINK STOLE 1, 2

>>>>>>>>> BHANG DEXTRO 1, 2, 3

>>>>>>>>> ARE WE ELECTRIC ?

>>>>>>>>> TIGER SHOWER CAPS

>>>>>>>>> LIGHTNING SHIPS

>>>>>>>>> BUZZ RODEO

>>>>>>>>> ANTENA KRZYKU

>>>>>>>>>> LE POULPE

 

 

« Le noise-rock est un sport de combat » (Buzz rodeo, Nurse – Le Poulpe, 17 mars)

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Parfois les rêves se réalisent. Parfois les hasards coïncident. Nurse qui fêtent au Poulpe leur premier album, un des disques de la scène locale les plus attendus, de ce côté-ci en tous cas. Et Buzz rodeo en rade de date sur la route de leur tournée italo-franco-espagnole… Alignement des planètes au-dessus de l’auberge supersonique de Reignier. Bon sang.

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Pas sûr que qui que ce soit ait entendu le nom de Buzz rodeo avant cette soirée du 17 mars. Pourtant le trio de Stuttgart a déjà deux albums, une poignée de formats plus courts et quelques tournées en France au compteur.

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Buzz rodeo, c’est un noise-rock tendance ligne claire. Guitare tranchante, aiguisée comme un scalpel. Rythmique roulante, lourde mais sans excès. Pas de de graisse aux entournures. Juste ce qu’il faut de gravier dans la bouche et la peau(st-punk) sur les os. Et un certain savoir-faire dans la mélodie narquoise, aussi.buzz_rodeo-12.jpg

Le trio – Ralph à la guitare, Helge à la batterie et, last but not least, Daniela et ses magnifiques santiags rouges à la basse – execute son set.  Deutsches qualität. Et le mot exécution prend ici tout son sens.

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« Arkansas », « Underground luxury », « Jordan’s walk »…. Coups dosés, calibrés, méthodiques. Faits pour atteindre leur cible et qu’on fasse comme Ralph. Qu’on tombe à genoux.

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Le public était plutôt stoïque. Mais attentif, c’est déjà ça. Et il s’est encore densifié pour le début du concert des Nurse, qui fêtaient donc la sortie de leur premier album, dont on reparlera très bientôt par ici. On pouvait se le procurer en CD ce soir-là, pour la version vinyle va falloir attendre encore un peu.

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Pop sensible et ciselée ? Post-hardcore furieux et explosif ? Qui sait… Nurse trace sa ligne entre émotions contradictoires. Corde raide tendue au-dessus des à-pics.

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Sur la scène du Poulpe 2.0 (qui, d’ailleurs, vient du Macumba, si, si), avec un son peut-être un peu moins naturel que lorsqu’il sort directement des amplis, on retrouve ces morceaux qu’au fil des concerts on a appris à connaître presque par coeur. Qu’on devine composés à l’instinct. Taillés pour la scène.

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Quelles que soient les conditions, le lieu et l’heure, le groupe carbure toujours à l’énergie explosive, la transe dans le feu de l’action,  la purification par les flammes. Prêts à tout pour faire vivre l’instant. Quitte à se retrouver lui-aussi sur les rotules à la fin du concert. Certainement une des expériences les plus intenses de la scène locale en ce moment.

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Vous avez dit Noise rock freak ?

Toutes les photos sont de Dylan D. Breed, un grand merci à lui !

On peut déjà voir – bon sang, quelle rapidité – quelques images de ce concert, au flou dosé, calibré et méthodique, sur l’excellent site photo d’Olive, que je ne saurai trop vous recommander.

>>>>>>>>>> BUZZ RODEO

>>>>>>>>>> NURSE