The first thing that comes to my mind as soon as I can get my hands on this lovingly packaged, solid 180 gr. acid green vinyl record is : These guys really love what they’re doing. Which comes as no surprise if you consider that we’re talking about a 10 year experienced outfit who’s been self-producing and promoting nearly a release per year, has repeatedly toured every single European country plus China (twice), and deservingly earned a big name on the international DIY scene, sharing stages with the likes of Cheer Accident, Zu, Ovo, Squartet and Don Vito (with whom they toured China by train !!).
So I’m waving Le Singe Blanc’s LP “Babylon” (Whosbrain/La Face Cachée/Bar La Muerte) with its beautiful artwork, resembling a Doner Kebab shop menu, thinking of how the concept of a musical Babylon can clearly come through before even playing the record. Every song is presented as a meal, and the track titles are in totally random languages. Amazing. I’ll go for it.
Before getting to know the full potential of their sounds, a feeling spreads in the room, it’s a genuine and inspired irony. We’ve got something pretty unique here, from the line-up on. Two bass players and a drummer solidly construct grooves made of clattering, crunchy basslines and pounding rhythms that Dianogah and Primus lovers might find familiar, as biting as the no-wave approach to the strings would suggest, as hypnotic as some techno rhythmic patterns need to be, and simply as loud as fuck.
The quintessence of the trio reveals itself in the wide (surprisingly wide!!) range of guttural sounds that they dare to stir in place of vocals. Their delirious storytelling, in fact, can take the form of any sort of growl, falsetto, infantile gibberish, islamiclike nonsense, boozy chants, lyrical glimmers, theatrical bits. Pay a bit of extra attention and you will spot some turkey, monkey, and Tarzan sounds. Meanwhile the music never stops. They drive the melody just wherever they feel like: they go spacey, waltzey, middle-eastern or ska, randomly mentioning some phsychedelic or latin ideas, exploding into a doom of noise, or stepping back to some straight and dry, yet extremely clever riffage. Exactly as I’d expect from a band from Metz (northeastern France, ex German territory, NdR): a very succesful mix of wild German sharpness and French fun-loving actitude.
After our first glance at “Ojalà estè mi bici” event in Barcelona (when LSB, CDP and CRTVTR offered a highly enjoyable set in the warm ambience of the Kasal de Roquetes) last October, and the great times we had then, at Human Feather we bet our paths will cross again.
Also visit Le Singe Blanc’s homepage.