Post rock trio kick off a new series of releases documenting the French alternative...
Peter Marsh 2004
This album is the first in a series entitled Pardon My French, which aims to introduce new and interesting Gallic musicians to the rest of us. It's about time. Though there was a spark of interest in the burgeoning French post rock scene a few years ago, not much seems to have been heard from that quarter of late, and with a few exceptions French alternative music doesn't seem to make it over the borders too often.
So here's Cinélux, a post-rock trio displaying the usual melange of Krautrock, electronica and post-punk influences. We kick off with "Hollis" (a tribute to the Talk Talk frontman, perhaps). Vaguely hip hop rhythms are shorn of funk associations in Can-like fashion by distorted, acoustic drums. Choppy bursts of reversed guitars dart underneath wheezing synths, topped off with occasional treated vocals. Elsewhere the skeletal, fragile melancholia of Fridge or Hood appear, topped off with dubby interventions and the usual transient noisebursts.
It's nothing startlingly new then, and at first the studied dispassion of the music can seem a bit dull. That is until you realise that they've lured you in to some kind of alpha state with their crafty Krautrockian trickery. This tends to happen when they allow themselves to stretch out a bit, as on"Une Porte" and its remix, a faintly Eno-esque 9 minute slab of cryptic paranoid funk that features some utterly gorgeous guitar playing. At least I think that's what it is.
Remixes will be a feature of the Pardon My French series, and sure enough Capitol K, Mitchell Akiyama and others get to twiddle some knobs and tweak some waveforms. Akiyama dubs the band into a blissful, refreshing blast of cosmic glitch dub, while Capitol K gives us trashy lo-fi electropunk. Despite the undoubted pleasures of some of the mixes, it's the unadulterated Cinélux that has more to offer on the evidence of this involving record. Now, how about a Magma remix album...