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Thursday 20 january » Objecteurs de croissance

Carnage "ÉLU" by Citizen Jazz

The narrative talent of Un Drame Musical Instantané (UDMI) no longer needs to be demonstrated. Whether it be in Rideau ! or, more certainly, in L'Homme à la Caméra, the work of the trio Jean-Jacques Birgé, Francis Gorgé and Bernard Vitet is full of stories and musical inventiveness. This is undoubtedly what led the Austrian label Klang Galerie to persistently reissue the albums of this orchestra, which represents a sort of backbone of creative European electronic music from the 70s and 80s. This is obviously what led them to propose a very nice reissue of Carnage, released on LP in 1985 and never reissued since. A dark work, violent in its vociferations and Gorgé's choice of a blunt guitar on a tense track like "Rangé des Voitures" with lyrics written by Birgé himself. One of UDMI's rare forays into song, yet troubled by all sorts of sonic finds. The cinematographic dimension of the orchestra, reinforced here by guests who are very image-oriented (percussionist Youval Micenmacher, or Michèle Buirette, Elsa Birgé's mother, on the accordion).

UDMI has always been about cinema for the ears. Here, it's a question of rebellion, against a backdrop of the destruction of the Amazon, the construction of a motorway, the explosion of dead wood and the strategy of tension that fed the political backdrop of the 1980s. All the seeds of this can be found in the impressive "Une fièvre verte" that opens the album: "And it doesn't matter what this motorway will cost", the tone is set. The whatever-it-takes is projected in a primary forest, among the cries of the trumpet and the electronic crawls that a chaos slaughters. A sonic clearing, literally and figuratively, a live ecological carnage carried by the oboe of Jean Querlier and the bassoon of Youenn Le Berre. Later, in field/counter-field, we meet indigenous populations, a rhythm that tends towards trance... the balance of power is established, as is a rather powerful narrative arc. This carnage is the opposition between those who destroy the forest and those who live off it: it should be remembered that the record was recorded a few years before the assassination of Chico Mendes, a Brazilian trade unionist who fought against the exploiters of the Amazon. It is also this tension that emerges in 'La Bourse et la vie', a long orchestral piece that demonstrates the rigorous writing of UDMI's musicians. There is an epic breath, and not only in Bernard Vitet's diving trumpet (the bell plays in a bowl of water).

If tracks like 'Cabin 13' represent more classical atmospheres in UDMI's discography, with Vitet's magnificent soaring and Gorgé's haunting playing, let us note that Carnage is undoubtedly the trio's recording where the Zappaian paradigm is most prominent. This is all the more remarkable as it is above all an influence of Jean-Jacques Birgé, who himself admits not to have experienced it. It is in "Fièvre Verte" that it is particularly noticeable, with a real feeling of evolving in the corridors of 200 Motels. As for 'Silent Telephone', it seems on several occasions that we're going to hear Suzy Creamcheese whispering "Are You Hung Up?", as in We're Only in it For The Money. In any case, we must thank Klanggalerie for the reissue of Carnage, another fine testimony to UDMI's modernity.

by Franpi Barriaux // January 9th 2022

L'air de rien in Citizen Jazz

Recorded last March, the meeting between the universe of Jean-Jacques Birgé and Élise Caron's promises to be fascinating. Especially if trombonist Fidel Fourneyron is added to the mix to balance the whole, in an approach that is close to the very beautiful Parking by Élise Dabrowski, released at the end of the summer. Thus, "Détruisez Rien / Ce qu'il y a de plus important" offers the trombonist an opportunity to underline with a long lyrical phrasing the sounds of his two companions, he who had until now let himself be invaded and submerged by the strangeness and the inventiveness around. Thus, "Du jardinage, pas d'architecture", where the steady note of the trombone and the slight rustle of the mouthpiece are as if surrounded by fascinating sounds and a spectral, grumbling voice, playing on the phonemes. Élise Caron creates wild climates, in the sense that they cannot be tamed. Birgé, for his part, uses everything from irregular tinkling to fake wind.
Both outstanding storytellers, Birgé and Caron find each other immediately. Each direction, though totally random, is an additional piece that will feed a narrative and a climate. "What would your dearest friend do" is the occasion for an almost ghostly moment, distant sounds on an ether voice, a misty dance between the voice's psalmodies and a trombone that covers it like a cotton sheet: this is what is undoubtedly surprising about this Air de Rien that Jean-Jacques Birgé proposes on his BandCamp, a nocturnal music, populated by spirits. For the night is intranquil with this trio: we hear dogs, crows and other unknown creatures. Yet nothing is hostile; the whole thing is even unusually gentle.
Envisaged as a game based on randomness and the drawing of cards, an exercise that has become commonplace in Jean-Jacques Birgé's practice, L'Air de rien is a beautiful proposition that offers new spaces to these three great musicians. Élise Caron, who takes over one of her host's toy keyboards, plays with the codes throughout the recording. We expect her to be vocal, we imagine her to be turbulent, she melts into the imagination of her partners and plays the flute, even if in the very beautiful "Utilisez une vieille idée", her babbling gives colour to the piece. It seems like nothing ? We have a great time!
 
by Franpi Barriaux // January 9th 2022

Unissued Drame from 1976 on LP

At the beginning of 2022, the German label Psych.KG will publish an unreleased 19-minute track by Un Drame Musical Instantané from 1976, Très toxique, with Jean-Jacques Birgé, Bernard Vitet and Francis Gorgé. This piece is therefore prior to the first record of the Drame! On the other side of the LP, Kommissar Hjuler und Frau will present Es gibt Reis, a 17-minute sound creation recorded this year.

Carnage out of print for 30 years finally on CD (KlangGalerie)

Bernard Vitet (trumpets, vocals, violin, flute, reed), Francis Gorgé (electric guitar, synthesizer, vocals, percussion, flute, brake), Jean-Jacques Birgé (synthesizer, vocals, piano, brass, flute, reeds, percussion) with Youval Micenmacher (percussion), Jean Querlier (oboe, English horn, flute, sax), Youenn Le Berre (flutes, bassoon), Patrice Petitdidier (French horn), Michèle Buirette (accordion), Geneviève Cabannes (double bass) and the Ensemble Instrumental du Nouvel Orchestre Philharmonique directed by Yves Prin

Music, words, recording
Un Drame Musical Instantané (Birgé-Vitet-Gorgé)

Carnage on KlangGalerie: New Master 2021 + Bonus
French article on Blog !

New album on GRRR
Only Once with Uriel Barthélémi and Hélène Breschand

Only Once, trio with Jean-Jacques BIRGÉ (keyboards, misc.), Uriel BARTHÉLÉMI (drums, synth) et Hélène BRESCHAND (electric harp, vocals) recorded on June 2021 at Studio GRRR.
Article on French Blog !


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