When a French folk singer and music player, meets a German DJ, the result can be a total disaster or a grate album. Here we fall in the second case: this album (written during the strikes that happened in France in 2019, from where the title is taking inspiration), is a perfect mix of folk/classical instruments played on an electronic base providing an unexpected and great result. In my opinion one of the best and more original album produced in 2021.
This goes way beyond goodness, such darkness but such lightnings at the same time. Really love this melting of free jazz fragrances, drone sounds, otherworldly vocals and tribalistic grooves. Such a perfect meeting, and great appearances from Ghédalia Tazartès <3
Favorite track: Gelbe Schlange.
Imagine Prometheus, the thief of fire, the father of civilisation, had been spellbound by the sirens chanting and never felt pain, when the eagle bit his liver. Total enchantment, created by sound to overcome the pain of existence. A sound, styled by the ideal harmony of body and soul. And yet, the pain is still there, hidden between the notes, driving a romantic vision of salvation.
If Prometheus could have translated his fictitious epiphany into singing, it might sound like Ghédalia Tazartès’s chanting in “White Layers Over Black Paper”, one of the eight snake dance tracks-not-tracks by German producer Detlef Weinrich aka Tolouse Low Trax and French singer, hurdy-gurdy, spinet and harp player Emmanuelle Parrenin. During some days of intimate plays in Paris they created “Jours de Grève”, a bouquet of music full of mirrors, eyes, statues, secret doors, rooms, and blood. With the offhanded help by friends and like-minded souls like Versatile aura mystic Gilbert Cohen, French avant-garde saxophone player Quentin Rollet and his fellow countryman, experimental voice artist Ghédalia Tazartès, they transformed in Cohen’s studio impulsive emotions into a kind of medieval cult sound that dances with tribal dub layers in search for a higher ground.
The session took place during an intensive time of public strikes in the French capital, that tied up the public life of Paris and gave birth to the album’s title “Jours de Grève”. After the jam, Weinrich drove back to his old hometown Düsseldorf, sat down with his friend Jan Schulte aka Wolf Müller and mixed the captured notes, sounds, rhythms and singings into pristine tripping music, that avoids stylistic categorisations. As rather architecture, sculpture, painting, performing or film could express what Parrenin’s hypnotic hurdy-gurdy performances, Tazartès’s ancient deeply emotive ululations, Rollet’s almost religious saxophone notes and Weinrich’s toting grooves evoke in the psyche, it might be better to go back to Prometheus and the fire, that brought us light and warmth. “Jours de Grève” does too.
And it is a stolen one. A borrowed one. Affected by art and life outside of sound. Lent from a forgotten monument in a random city around the world. Swayed by an afternoon glass of wine in a Parisian street café. Affected by music of all ages. Unconsciously developed in the spirit of Philippe Doray and Les Asociaux Associés, Théâtre du Chêne Noir d'Avignon or Areski Belkacem’s collaborations with Brigitte Fontaine. Above all Emmanuelle Parrenin extramundane voice swings, mutating between speech and chant, while Ghédalia Tazartès mourns like a wise illusionist. In tunes like “Caltec’s Dance” you even feel the airiness of early Fun Boy Three recordings. All that is rooted on Weinrich’s Tolouse Low Trax magnetic signature grooves, this time floating between dark tribal upbeat sexiness and dubbed-down bass sculpturalism.
If it is true that illuminating music stirs by its mysterious resemblance to the objects and feelings which motivated it, then “Jours de Grève” is an in impulse composed primitive state of rhizomatic paranormal psychic phenomenon, that incorporates all the worlds, that the naked eye cannot see.
released January 15, 2021
Depuis longtemps me trottait dans la tête l’idée de faire un disque avec l’immense Emmanuelle Parrenin, égérie folk française des 70’s qui n’a jamais arrêté de polir son âme.
Une voix du fond des âges,des gazouilis qui n’appartienent qu’à elle, et le don précieux de faire parler la vielle à roue, cet ancêtre moyenâgeux du drone.
L’idée de l’associer au sorcier minimaliste de Düsseldorf, Detlef Weinrich (aka Tolouse Low Trax) s’imposait, tant leurs univers me semblaient étrangement converger.
Le disque fut enregistré dans les studios parisiens de Versatile, pendant la semaine de grèves de 2019: Une session en “lockdown” avec des invités exceptionnels: le saxophoniste français free-jazz ,Quentin Rollet et l’iconoclaste Ghédalia Tazartès au chant. Avoir ces 2 artistes ensemble dans le studio restera un souvenir inédit Bien qu’à un âge avançé, ils ont gardé leur âme d’enfant intacte et ont cette capacité de toucher au plus profond de nous-même. C’est enfin Jan Schulte/Wolf Müller (échappé comme Detlef du Salon des Amateurs de Düsseldorf) qui mixera cet disque, devenu oeuvre de transmission générationnelle.