Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Carnet De Voyage - Melo Disko

Nouvelle aventures sonores! A beguiling mix of the ancient, modern and futuristic.

Something a little different but if you're prepared to go with it you're in for a rewarding listen. Melo Disko is the debut album from Carnet De Voyage, a collaboration between pianist/ composer Rosey Chan and DJ/producer Mimi Xu. It's mix of neo-classical minimalist piano merged with electronica that runs from ambient to sprightly. Occasional softly spoken French passages emerge out of the ether as does muted trumpet that recalls latter period Miles Davis. If all that sounds a little highbrow and academic don't be put off - the test of any music is of course whether it has the power to move you, whether it enhances or changes moods, and Melo Disko certainly has that. Its spiritual home may be as an audio soundtrack in a contemporary art gallery but listening to it at home in the small hours reveals it has an impressively emotional core, and is the perfect soundtrack for those precious moments of solitude. A record that sounds like so much like a distant past, as well as a faraway future that a quantum physicist would have a series of simultaneous field days. This beguiling mix of the ancient, modern and futuristic will no doubt struggle to be heard under the cacophony of gimmick-heavy records currently in the marketplace but it deserves an audience, and will amply reward it.

**An album launch show takes place at the Servant Quarters, London on June 19th**

Click here for Carnet De Voyage's website.
Clickhere for Carnet De Voyage on Facebook.
Click here for Carnet De Voyage on Twitter.
Click here for Gard du Nord Records.

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

French Boutik – L'âme de Paris

Our favourite Parisian nova-mods are back with a second album! Mais oui!

These are strange and sad times for those of us living in the UK who feel in any way European. If being called “citizens of nowhere” by your own prime minister was not bad enough, the rise of small-minded nationalism and right-wing radicalisation should give all of us cause for concern. The current state of politics aside there are things that give me hope. One is the open-minded globally aware attitude of our country's youth, which will ultimately save us. The other is culture. Art, sport, literature and of course music all have a power to cross borders, change attitudes and minds, lift spirits and make life fun.

While politics may be heading towards nativism, music continues to sweep away the notion of borders. So in the spirit of European integration I'd like to draw your attention to this new album by French Boutik, a quartet of unbelievably stylish mods from Paris, who have over the last few years won over quite a few of us Brits by way of their previous records and trips across the Channel to play the occasional gig in the UK. (Though mainly just down south I'm sad to say.)

L'âme de Paris is the band's second album, following Front Pop, their delightful debut which came out in 2016. Much like the debut, L'âme de Paris (The Soul of Paris) mixes sharp mod grooves with indiepop melodies. If anything it's a more successful statement than its predecessor, with a sharper focus on songwriting, tighter arrangements and and a notable growing of confidence and musical sophistication. Neat instrumental and stylistic flourishes abound, and along with the switching boy/girl vocals and bi-lingual lyrics mean your interest is always held even if (like me) your French is a little rusty.

The bits of the language I do remember allow me to translate a little – 'Loins de Moi' is a song addressed to a former lover, 'Strasbourg St Denis' laments a changing city, and 'Amis Sur Facebook'.... well take a guess!

Respect to band members Gabriela, Zelda, Serge and Jean-Marc for another mighty fine record, and for flying the flag for culture. We salute you. L'âme de Paris - c'est moderniste! C'est fantastique! c'est French Boutik!

Clickhere for French Boutik's website.
Clickhere for French Boutik on Facebook.
Clickhere for French Boutik on Twitter.
Clickhere for Heavy Soul Records (CD & LP)