1. My Ears Are Dust 2. Intromentals 3. I Walk In A Lonely Light 4. Astrology 5. Sexual Sewer 6. Meetings 7. Horse Glue 8. Crab In The Pipeline 9. Entertainment Centers 10. Crushed Up 11. La Brea Tar Pits 12. Witch In Outer Space
Emblematic of that French touch which tinged new-wave with a bit of sunshine, their electro, retro-futuristic songs have that slight sweet and sour flavour between casualness and sophistication.
The birth of Cha Cha Guitry in 1981 was a landmark for its members, Serge, Dominique, Charly and Marie.Once their hippie phase was over, the guitar, sax and flute were abandoned in the closet while machines took over: an EMS AKS synth, a Roland SH101, a Roland TR808 rhythm-box. The two couples met in the congenial atmosphere of their “home studio” to record their songs.
The boys composed and sang, the girls sang and designed minimal costumes, the elegance of which was enhanced by some DIY touches: no need for fabric, paper will perfectly do. As deceivingly offhanded stylists, the Cha Cha crew carefully crafted a music that was both studied and charmingly quirky, making collages of pop raw materials and avant-garde stuff.
Scissors in hand, they took what they wanted from the Bauhaus, Moholy Nagy, or Sonia Delaunay’s dresses, taping these iconic bits onto the sounds of Kraftwerk and what remained of pop culture (comics, movies, songs of the 30s or easy listening).
Cha Cha Guitry, wisely ingenious, modelled tropical landscapes out of cellophane, thus elaborating its own synthetic surrealism.
Cheveu now enters 2014 heavy-hearted and red-eyed, just like those wrecks of humanity blinded by the lights at closing time, their misery, bad skin and unachieved schemes exposed before dawn.
Cheveu built its third LP on the ashes of those unholy hours, around the majestic « Polonia », a track on which David Lemoine recites a few lines from Bertrand Blier’s Buffet Froid with the set expression of a man empowered by the fact he just shit his pants, while Etienne Nicolas and Olivier Demeaux slowly unwind the rapturous scenery of a theologian western. The song is beautiful, grotesque, heart-rending, just like a scene out of Jean Ray’s Malpertuis backed by a funeral choir of angelwitches, and is definitely one of the most amazing things you’ll hear this year.
> BUM, just like « Polonia », is an inner trip, an odyssey bordered by the walls of an antique mansion, full of baroque embroidery and padded club chairs, perfect aural counterpart for the paintings, of Rousseau, master of the exotic which –paradoxically- never ventured out of France. Cheveu’s third record is full-on excess and absurdity, but is also much more legible and effective than their previous efforts (see « Juan In A Million » or the sure-fire hit « Albinos », which lyrics are taken from a monologue in Harmony Korine’s Gummo), even traditional at times (« Pirate Bay » seems like the very first Cheveu song where guitars sound like guitars).
This time, the band opted for a much more live-based, organic and fully-produced sound, replacing 1000’s messy cut-ups and Cheveu’s shitgaze blur by throbbing organs (played by Xavier Klaine and recorded at Saint Merri Church) and wall-of-sound choirs (arranged in Tel-Aviv by Maya Dunietz, already in charge of the lush string arrangements on 1000).
The result : 10 tracks drier and sharper than anything Cheveu has done before, definitely out-of-this-world but elegantly mannered, veined with unaltered genius and ending with the spectacular « Johnny Hurry Up », an unreal track which owes Wall Of Voodoo and X as much as François de Roubaix and crowns Cheveu as the masters of a new world where love burns over piles of rotting meat and shit.
Back in print. A French psyche pop odyssey selected by Dirty Sound System.
The LP features Dashiell Hedayat, Christophe, Brigitte Fontaine, Cheval Fou, Bernard Lavilliers and more.
Tracklisting: Side A: 1. Christophe - Ferber endormi 2. Bernard Lavilliers - Les aventures extraordinaires d'un billet de banque 3. Brigitte Fontaine - Il pleut 4. Dashiell Hedayat - Long Song for Zelda 5. Cortex - Cortex A 6. Nino Ferrer - Looking For You 7. Jean Jacques Dexter - Be Quiet.
Side B: 1. Alain Kan - Speed My Speed 2. François de Roubaix - La frite équatoriale 3. Cheval Fou - La fin de la vie, le début de la survivance 4. Christophe - Sunny Road to Salina 5. Ilous & Decuyper – Berceuse 6. Karl Heinz Schäfer & Arabian – Utopia