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(43:33; Off Records)
If ever there was a band who appear to set out to confuse listeners with their approach, then it has to the new group formed by Etienne Plumer (Reve d’Elephant, Animus Anima), Michel Delville (The Wrong Object, Machine Mass, Comicoperando, website) and Antoine Guenet (Univers Zero, The Wrong Object, Beautiful Badness) who combined with Christophe Bailleau, who describes himself as a sound artist with an interest in the function of noise as a musical code in music, to create something which is challenging in the extreme. If I was to pick just one genre, then arguably it would be RIO, but there is also plenty of Krautrock, Canterbury, jazz (both composed and avant-garde), electronic, post rock and so much more. It is an album which has to be played many times to tease out the ideas and allow them to get inside the head and start to rattle around and make some sense. But, having said all the above, if I played you just the second song “The Needle’s Eye” then you would disagree with everything I said and would wonder why I wasn’t describing the album as Eels going psychedelic? The album as a whole is minimalistic, simplistic, complex, overbearing, intense, light-hearted, sometimes all these things at once and others just a single strand of (in)sanity which keeps the band together. Sounds are treated, distorted, or left to stand on their own, and to be honest the first time I played this I really didn’t like it as my brain couldn’t cope with what was going on. But, I don’t give in that easy (and am a massive fan of Michel Delville in particular), so persevered even though I still didn’t like it on the second or third time either. But, during the fourth iteration something here final spoke to me, and from there on in it was a soundscape like no other. This is not music for the fainthearted, but rather for those who enjoy being out of the mainstream – and in this case it is way, way out of the mainstream. Warming to Ornette Coleman’s contention that “composing is a way not repeating”, The Godel Codex also subscribes to Derek Bailey’s famous statement that “improvisation is not knowing what is it until you do it” and that “composition is not doing it until you know what it is”. Impressive, enthralling and challenging, it is all that and more.
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