Monade Monstre cosmic Review

Released 2008.  

BBC Review

The twists and turns delight, enthrall and surprise the listener.

Guy Hayden 2008

Monade are a side project for Sterolab's singer, Laetitia Sadier, and originally involved Pram's Rosie Cuckston who is no longer present. Monstre Cosmic is their third release. Based in Bordeaux, the band now consist of bassist Marie Merlet, keyboard/guitarist Nicolas Etienne and drummer David Loquier and of the 10 tracks here they are responsible for 6. The rest are a result of a ''spontaneous collaboration'' with a group of musician friends of Sadier's from Toulouse.

Conceived (and everything this lady does is rigorously conceived) as an album of one long track that flows like a river with no part being heard twice, always flowing by with something new, this is another remarkable album from a remarkable woman. Lyrically it's as complex and thought-provoking as one would expect from Sadier, yet the differences between Monade and her music with Stereolab are perhaps not so marked as to demonstrate why she really needs a side project. But then, who cares whether this is the main course or just the side-dish when it is as filling and satisfactory as this?

The lush lounge orchestrations, the dry sing-song vocals, the warmth of the vintage keyboards are all present and in fine working order. Rarely can madness and internal dissolution have been explored as gloriously as in Etoile - "I am taken to the lower floor of a mental institution where I am told that inside me dwells a dirty monster" - all intoned by Sadier in that reverb-free voice that is so recogniseable. Lost Language uses strings, keyboards, tempo changes, off-stage vocals, vibes, and more strings to create a complex, catchy mini-symphony that is the essence of the album and is replayed in various elegiac ways thereafter. Whether driven by chugging guitars and skittering drums or sliding by in a stately semi-orchestral fashion, this album is a strange delight from start to finish. The twists and turns delight, enthrall and surprise the listener. Recommended.

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