Category: ladies and gentlemen

Sällskapet’s Disparition

last evening we were rummaging about in one of our record shops, when the recommendation section appealed to us through an alluring cover. a black and white beauty showing punctilious geometrical sketches of buildings, strongly inspired by the darkest hours of humanity. a sticker displayed on the plastic packaging revealing the participation of german artist Andrea Schroeder convinced us that the discovery of Sällskapet would be the most remarkable finding of the day. and, as a matter of fact, it was.

founded in 2003 but kept secret until 2007, the brainchild of Joakim Thåström, Pelle Ossler and Niklas Hellberg, seem to have received almost an immediate critical acclaim, at least in their homeland, in sweden. Sällskapet (which may be translated by “a small group of people” or a “small society”) released the very same year a debut single Nordlicht, named after a bar in hamburg, and two ambient-industrial albums respectively entitled Sällskapet (2007) and Nowy Port (2013). it must be said that both of them evinced already a strong appetite for highly-enjoyable dystopian flavours and murky shadows. with 2018’s Disparition published a few days ago via BMG, the band that no longer consists of Thåström who appears however as guest singer, further widens the furrow of desperation and propounds a disquieting suburban wander in an oppressive, uninviting wasteland – served also by Andrea Schroeder’s eerie voice. Hellberg resides currently in berlin and this explains logically the relevant presence of Schroeder on this third album, and the singular hopelessness instilled through the nine meaningful pieces offered by Disparition.

the heart-rending (german) lyrics of this breathtaking songwriter and musician, whose discovery a few years ago had hooked us on for months, pair superbly with Sällskapet’s haunted airspace. together, they collide with the disruptive disappearance of both people and time, the fugacity of our lives that fly away like impatient birds, and the needfulness to enjoy each moment, as they arise.
all this might sound quite distressing and tragic, but the warmth of Andrea Schroeder’s undaunted voice suggests to withstand, even if time remains elusive eventually. in Die Zeit vergeht (time is flying by), the piano and violin notes, and Schroeder’s mellow lalalas magnified by Thåström’s upper voice,  make every effort to soothe the palpable tension but are quickly rejoin by sultry and threatening humming. the end of the song sets clearly the tone anyway, since “es ist zu spät” (it’s too late). an obvious magnificence emanates from this inescapable despair through Ossler’s roaring guitar, which howl acts as a cry wolf in a puzzling winsomeness.

Westerplatte and Tiefenrausch, the both unspoken songs, confirms the inevitability of the verdict in a very beguiling spectral way. this might be the very end, but this is a very beautiful one. with Walzer, Schroeder breathes nerve, shows that all this is bearable, provided that you/she hold tight to someone – “an Dich” (to you), this very you that may be a lover, a friend, a compass, a lifeline, indeed something, someone of upper importance. in Wandler, Andrea Schroeder tells about her stroll in ghostly streets. she dreams about life, about death, she states that this is only a dream, yet it conveys a bitter aftertaste that this is an inescapable loophole.

in the end, it makes no difference whether you understand Goethe’s language or not, because Sällskapet’s music and surroundings, together with Shroeder’s cogent interpretation, speak for themselves and deliver the message intended quite plainly. unquestionably, Disparition is the ideal spacey companion till doomsday and has already entered the competition for the best album of the year. because never before had the quietus been so inviting.
Disparition can be purchased here.


Pale Grey

bosom friends of melancholy, heady bum-swinging melodies and musical experiments, they will for sure greatly rejoice to discover Pale Grey‘s music. the pond got hooked today by the band’s most recent song entitled Late Night featuring the terrific voice (and phrasing) of Serengeti, one of the pond’s favourite rappers.

the four-headed belgian band published last year a very elegant EP entitled Ghost via Jaune Orange and has just released Waves, a very inspired second album on which indie pop, electronica and groove pair admirably with hip hop, but also abstract notes and evident spleen. the band’s new album is a logical follow-up of their 2013’s Best Friends that contained already very valuable and peerless melodies. Pale Grey’s post-rock stimulus has been evidently eclipsed by more incisive shining indie tunes and thoughtful compositions.

Waves is a sparkling wonder, the perfect nonesuch to wait for the spring. you can listen to it entirely and purchase it here.

Behind the Shadow Drops

Behind the Shadow Drops is the new solo project of Takaakira ‘Taka’ Goto, founding guitarist of the fantastic instrumental band MONO. formed in 2016, the project integrates many different forms of music, most notably ambient, trip-hop and other minimal musical elements, and will soon give birth to a first album named H a r m o n I c.

expected on 22th september on Temporary Residence, the album features drums, percussion and programming by John McEntire (Tortoise and The Sea And The Cake) who also mixed the album, as well the fabulous Helen Money, a very impressive rock cellist, who toured with Russian Circles last year.

the first single Positive Shadow, Negative Light directed by Julien Levy offers us an elegant spectral journey under the stars.

you may pre-order H a r m o n i c  by clicking on the above album cover.


mysterious projects are always a thrilling experience, especially when they pair with music.

tomorrow, on the 31st october, MULL of OA will release their first album Rainy Days Friends Bring Me The Horizon on IMANCE.

as we got shaken by the amazing disquieting piano line and fineness of Chaos Lilla/Caol Ila, we got in touch with MULL of OA to know a little more about them. in this specific case, “them” refer to an intimate encounter. an unexpected rendez-vous between a (wo)man and a piano, on a scottish island called islay. a stroke of good fortune in a disused, deconsecrated church close to lagavulin, where a (wo)man met up with a piano, which beautiful, inspiring sound convinced him/her to found MULL of OA, name of the wild and tempestuous western tip of the island.  MULL of OA tells us that she/he first chased the visitors out of the church before recording improvised pieces, improvised moments of intimacy of a new-born musician. an unsuspected one-(wo)man band born last summer while travelling on this piece of land.

as his/her fingers skate on the piano keys for the first time, MULL of OA had no idea that it would give rise to a musical project. without pretending being a pianist, the fingers started to improvise, inspired by the intrinsic qualities of the piano. playing the piano’s valuable, but also imperfect, notes — playing this piano, and not any other one. MULL of OA points it out: “I have played on other pianos since then, and, for the moment, I haven’t found any other instrument with any comparable endearing nature”.

uncertain of the follow-up of the project, MULL of OA is however ready to release new improvisation albums to show listeners how the (wo)man is willing to change as she/he learns the piano further. “Yes, it a genuine project. I started to take piano lessons as I came back from Scotland.”

so, just before the official release of Rainy Days Friends Bring Me The Horizon, we are happy to introduce you to MULL of OA’s captivating music. the video of Chaos Lilla/Caol Ila, which offers a terrific mysterious echo to the piece, was created by Rodolphe Cobetto-Caravanes and Baptiste Sibony.

an authentic masterwork, both musically and visually.

Boobs of DOOM

five seconds was the precise time we needed to get hooked on to what can be described as “Portishead having an argument with Mogwai at a Sunn O))) concert”, as the band reports it better. a genius mix of doom, grime, psychedelic, drone, stoner, rock and hop that snatched our ears with a violence and a dictation comparable to a hornet campaign ready to defeat the most dreadful monsanto herbicide. a savage vibrato originated from an electrifying scottish band.

boobs of DOOM

born along the luxuriant riviera of glasgow, Boobs of DOOM is the brainchild of Sadsack Macdoom and Thumper, two funny blokes who met while playing online to World of WarCraft  in 2008. yes, you read it properly, it happens that video game addiction may inspire brilliant tunes, and not insignificant ones.

the exciting thing about Boobs of DOOM lies in the clever mixture of layers and sounds that the band superposes in abundance, but without debauchery.
their latest dazzling mix D(((O)))(((O)))MHAMMER. is a genuine example of the number of coatings manipulated by these damn talented war crafters. 20 proper minutes of dirty vibes, a rightful threatening ascension to a heart-warming corrupted planet, where music and noise buzz gracefully.

Boobs of DOOM’s music is therefore made of different shades, such as in Bramblescar, Mankrik’s Fury Unending, where the duet jumps on arabian one-humped camels, inviting snakes and trap-door spiders to follow suit to an endless hole radiated by the sun. or in Ampulex Dementor Politique from their album 06. (((BLACK HOLE))) released in 2015 – an electro-drone apocalyptic composition that could soundtrack the most deranged zombi film or doomsday scenario. speaking of films, the duo actually describes himself as ‘morbid misanthropes, trying to soundtrack the end of the world’. and they seem to be pretty talented at it.

on last june, Boobs of DOOM self-released 07. (((WHITE NOISE))), an album which takes us to the bristol coast and spreads a vibrant trip hop echo, dear to the 90’s. our ears are nevertheless invited to plan over unctuous dark lakes, where no bird would venture to fly, but may offer a solid foundation to Stanisław Lem’s Solaris (especially, nihilism: thanks for nothing…).

07. (((WHITE NOISE))) gives the impression of a sunny coastal border befouled by a sank-off tanker, despite balmy layers of unsullied sands. occasionally, the horizon gets a little bit brighter, notably in the opening of 00101110 01100100 01000001 01100101 01100100 00100000 01010011 01001001 00100000 01101110 01001111 01100111 01000101 *error404* (we hope you enjoy the title as much as we do): a rainy curtain sounds like riding the surroundings of some sort of glumly grime. successively, a gentle, obsessive guitar line provides a brighter reflection to filthy vibrations, revealing a possible colour-like rainbow.

the half darken spell of this new album is confirmed by dream of she, which shows clear reminiscences of the aforementioned 90’s bristol sound. a muffled tune is chaperoned by a muted trumpet and a few clear guitar notes, conveying to the song a mellow, heady tune that, eventually, adorns with a sooty cover reinforced by a saturated guitar and ghostly vocals.

so, darkness, intimidation and warmth are on the agenda of this delectable seventh album. it happens also that drones vanish very briefly to calm down a possible addiction to this greasy sound. the only two-second break in the middle of know yr place, stupid hyoomaan! is absolutely thrilling, as if a cotton bud had liberated our ears from a permanent drain plug. yet we shouldn’t make a mistake about it: noise abides until the end, regardless of the gentleness relayed by the unexpected the great northern psychedelic cull that complete the journey to this honey-tongued odyssey in restrained rage and splendour. the song culminates with an amusing nasal voice pointing out “that’s because we are scottish”.

we have now come full circle and deduce that this inspired auto-produced duo deserves greatly to find a proper home in order to release their music. so, in the meanwhile you can treat yourself with their fascinating tracks and albums here.


sometimes what appears as a blasting piece of music may be perceived as a poor, insufferable hullabaloo, and it is amusing how music can heighten feelings and sensibility. as my sibling looked at me with incomprehensible and fierce eyes, its mouth trembling as it contained an unexpected form of anger and temper, it was kind of hard for me to explain why this (too-short) concert had knocked me down, and to engage the debate of what-is-noise, what-is-music.


the subject of the controversy was an instrumental band discovered prior to the Great Escape Festival, this early summer. before heading to the festival, the frog was tortured by an obsessive idea in mind: see Jambinai (잠비나이) in concert. this very band had struck the frog with the monumental song They Keep Silence, which closes their latest album. a thrilling piece of art fusing the tenderness of meditative landscapes and the explosive fury proper to post-rock.

signed to Bella Union, Jambinai released in june A Hermitage, the band’s second album and first for the label, which was recorded in seoul, south korea. their music is transported by Ilwoo Lee (guitar, piri, a korean flute made of bamboo), Bomi Kim (haegum, a fiddle-like string instrument) and Eunyong Sim (geomungo, the korean zither), who mix together standard (post) rock instruments (guitar, bass and drums) with traditional south-korean instruments. when touring overseas, the trio takes the form of a quintet, with Jihoon Ok on bass and Jae Hyuk Choi who takes care of volcanic percussions.

that very night in brighton, their concert was carried away by a common desire to give substance to a (admittedly) loud, tempered sound, but also a fatherly mildness. the concert was also the occasion to discover a band who probably revamp south-korean traditional music, with a delicious, generous apocalyptic touch. but over and above that, the brief thirty minutes unveiled one or two ambient, contemplative songs that were full of poetry and sentimentality. the delicacy of traditional instruments ideally complemented the intensity of the electric guitar and formed a very unusual haze, as For Everything That You Lost or Connection corroborate.

the various shades of post-rock show obviously that cacophony and music can pair with elegance, so my sibling may be right after all. however, Jambinai possess the necessary refinement to compose emotion-charged songs that are positively inspired. fear, anger, hope are sensibly melted, they carry a very distinctive intensity and beauty to their music. recently published by the band, The Mountain, which was filmed at the MMCA (national museum of modern and contemporary art, korea) by the seoul-based artistic agency COMPANY F, evinces the grandeur and fineness of this band full of promise.

A Hermitage is available here. long live noise and the magnificent Jambinai!


Gizehcast #27


founded in 2004 by Richard Knox, Gizeh Records is a fantastic independent label based in Manchester (UK) that focuses on ambient, alternative, experimental music projects, be they electronic or modern-classical.

home, among others, of Farewell Poetry (another fantastic project by Oiseaux-Tempête’s Frédéric D. Oberland), Last Harbour (a magnificent melancholic and cinematic band) and Shield Patterns (a heady dark pop, electronica band), Gizeh Records have no care for genres or pigeon-holes, but simply the noise of harmony and the harmony of noise, and the inspiration and spirit of the people who are making that noise.

the label releases very elegant CDs, tapes and LPs adorned with beautiful artworks, and publishes every month the Gizehcast, a sublime sampler featuring both musicians from its roaster and other bands in the same vein. each month sees a new occasion to discover a varied number of bands, alongside bands from the label.

the 27th edition opens gently with a song by the amazing Cult Of Luna and shows a few nuggets such as Marnie Stern‘s The Crippled Jazzer and Set Fire To Flames‘ Wild Dogs Of The Thunderbolt/’they Can Not Lock Me Up… I Am Eternally Free…  this month, our favourite discovery goes to Hundred Year Old man, a doom, post metal band from Leeds that greatly deserves our undivided attention.

we are happy to share this new superb compilation with you and would like here to thank Ghizeh Records warmly. you may subscribe to the whole Gizehcast series for free in iTunes.

METZ (cassiopeia, 24/06/15)

loud. this was truly loud, i mean a real jump-up-and-down experience, probably the most head-splitting gig since APTBS‘, where the frog’s ears came closer to the soundwall limit. in fact, this very night was the first time the frog experienced a true punk delirium, not to say that it greatly enjoyed it.

as i arrived at cassiopeia that night, i was kind of late, for my attention had been distracted by some unexpected skate-board show in the neighbourhood. the pond is an amazing place: you pop up to expose your ears to high frequencies and enjoy instead a spectacle offered by rolling experts, which trousers reach their bottoms with difficulty.
so i was late, so i missed the opening band (Heads), but managed to worm my way easily to the crowd and to embrace the stage, comfortably positioned in the exact middle of the space.

three guys hail to the stage, and i am happy as larry as a friendly-face bespectacled guitarist start to strum a few terribly noisy notes. this is Alex Edkins, guitarist and singer of METZ, an amazing noise band from toronto. on his right, the bassist Chris Slorach shows a lightening smile and behind them appears Hayden Menzies on drums.

Photograph by Robby Reis

i let some refreshing beverage sooth my skate-boarding and (forthcoming punk) excitation, and notice that two long-haired-bearded toads in (very) tiny t-shirts take position on my flanks. my mind starts to vagabond, wondering whether these metal-like amphibians are not at the wrong address. but before i realise that it would appropriate to quit swiftly the comforting headland i’m setting on, Negative Space pierces the silence with hooting guitars and the toads –many long-haired ones, my goodness, where do they flock from?– begin a sudden and cheerful pogo, during which the frog’s bag and beer fly in the air.

with no surprise, the frog decides hastily to follow the movement and jumps in air to recover the beverage and pay tribute to the thunderous gig introduction. at the time of the bag repossession, the devil-possessed amphibians are already soaked and the frog goes wild with joy, rejoining the quietly-dancing animal bed. this marks the end of the flowery perfumed atmosphere but the very beginning of a crazy and thrilling evening –Negative Space being only a soft, jolting opening.

because if you may dispute the band’s lack of inspiration as far as album titles are concerned, i can tell you that the energy and the decibels spread by each one of their tunes will crush your brain to a pulp.

formed in 2008, METZ released their eponymous début album on Sub Pop in 2012, followed in 2015 by the soberly-named II, both produced by Holy Fuck‘s Mr. Graham Walsh. quickly pigeonholed as a punk rock band, METZ deliver a music which also springs from both the drone and post-hardcore scenes –it is straightforward and doesn’t lose time waffling on. some may argue that it is easy to play punk rock, but in truth, it isn’t elementary to play genuine art-punk noise rock. and this is precisely where Metz excel, at radiating ferocity and time-bomb melodies. both guitars seem to respond to some emergency state, the louder, the better. Slorach’s bass spits filthy drones that perforate your brain and entire body like a devilish electric hand drill, echoed by Edkins’ pernicious guitar.

the gig is a perfect exploration of METZ’s plain-spoken style. it is as short and damageable powerful as the forenamed albums. in fact, the shortness of the performance is a bit frustrating. songs are whizzed off, making it demanding to appreciate the show properly. it’s almost impossible to get your breath back. all the same, it is indeed very difficult to resist the impressive Knife in the Water, Wet Blanket or Rats, or any titles of Metz, and i somehow envy the toads who exult openly, letting their exuding bodies crush against each others. METZ’s sovereignty may precisely come from the immediate urge to play.

Negative Space
Knife in the Water
Get Off
Spit You Out
The Swimmer
Wait in Line
Kicking a Can of Worms
Nervous System
Dirty Shirt
Wet Blanket

METZ’s first album perspires the same in-your-face, quintessential sweat of Sub Pop bands. it spews up hysterical tones aiming at crumbling any existing sound limits. raw and deliberately loud, their sound is supported by the bleak and vociferating-contained voice of Alex Edkins, which sometimes vanishes for a while to leave a clear field to the furious but artfully frenzy provided by both the guitars and the demented drums. guitar riffs explode on the assault-like Headache or the quite simply staggering Acetate, which genuinely illustrates Edkins’ promise as II was about to be released:

We are not going to clean up our sound, we are not going to hire a big producer, we are not going to try to write a radio song.

as a matter of fact, METZ don’t produce radio songs, but if they actually did, we could eventually listen to the radio all day. would you still doubt of Metz’ proficiency, we invite you to train your ears with this KEXP session.
please play it loud and abandon the present reading to let your body breath.


who would have ever imagined that a land, surrounded by mountains, cheese and chocolate, could both conceal a famous fiscal paradise and a terrific post-rock band called Maïak? what’s more, who could have doubted that an album untitled A Very Pleasant Way To Die wouldn’t arise the frog’s highest attention? indeed this spleen-like, superb title serves decently the pond’s appetite for the underworld and the tragic beauty of existence.

Maïak? Маяк (“lighthouse” in russian)?
33 years before the disastrous explosion of chernobyl’s 4th reactor, mayak’s nuclear plant released innumerable tons of high-level radioactive waste as the plant’s storage tank exploded. known as the kyshtym disaster, this major accident had been hidden (and denied) by the soviet government during thirty years.


nevertheless, since 2010, Maïak –a band from lausanne, switzerland– has been paying tribute to what the band refers to

as the symbolic weight of a catastrophe that arose as the punishment of man’s guilty arrogance in an outburst remained silent.

Maïak are Antoine Froidevaux-Abu Sa’da (guitars), Marc Bettens (guitars), David Dilorenzo (bass) and Stéphane Riederer (drums). four pretty lads fearless to express their melancholy and temper with a remarkable first shot released this year by Fluttery Records.

the album unfolds with a genuine ten-minute beast called Nutributter Green Is People, an almost peaceful and tender track, which opening guitars appeal for a romantic ballad. those very guitars catch you up and bring you at the brink of a precipice along which you stroll innocently, however hesitating between gazing at the infinite landscape or disappearing in the great ocean. as the wind blows gently, the tranquil promenade is troubled (with great delight) by some impatient guitar’s riffs which call clearly for resistance and contained rage. guitars hoot with savagery, oscillate between sweetness and anger until reaching appeasement (or resignation?).

this peacemaking is only a fake secession, as the 40-minute transport of delight of A Very Pleasant Way to Die demonstrate. the tormented blazing guitars of I am a Man, I am a Free Number (a title inspired by The Prisoner) bring us out of a possible reverie with mesmerizing spoken words (probably from fields recordings) and an uncluttered, a very warm bass line which puts a damper to saturated furious guitars, which, in turn, accelerate in an uncontrollable frenzy. the tension is feverish and turns beautifully into hardcore. post-rock melancholy is highly palpable in Maïak’s music but it pairs with a beyond-question appetency for heavy, metalish riffs – as the mammoth final of A Fond Poster Girl for Tatmadaw clearly shows.

still, the most surprising part comes from Sometimes You’ve Got to Take the Hardest –a (thrilling) misleading track which cut-throating, electrifying guitars are (again) rejoined by an amazing bass line. a crazy, complex melody that alternately gets nervous, explodes, quietens down, warm up, savours suddenly the burning sun of an enjoyably desperate desert, before screeching guitars eventually spit their rage out joined by a liberating human howl. this is pure madness, what a staggering rhythm shift!

before Maïak finishes us off happily with We All Live In A Yellow Kursk (a witty nod in the direction of the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine), determined guitars show again their irritation before vanishing suddenly on a lively carousel, where we are invited to a joyful pirouette supported by undisguised laughs and glee.

oh my god, this is just fantastic, what a very very pleasant way to live.

PS: Maïak was brought under the spotlights by the pretty essential post-rock reference website, Post Engineering, and we are more than grateful to this post-rock homeland for its existence.