Ext'inT + IKKo + Antilux @ Soirées Cerises - 20/09/2009
2 guys, a couple of Korg Electribes and a few gadgets. I just caught the very end of the set. Pleasant ambient electro, with a melodica processed through a Korg MS20, and some other unusual looking implements. I pretty much like the stuff on Myspace - shame I missed it – looked (and sounded) interesting.
One guy with a mike and a Roland SP909. Hum. I could just make out he was singing in French, but it was only apparent that he’s also got stuff in English from his MySpace. If you can call that singing. More of an attempt at a heavy-metal whisper. I didn’t think the use of sounds was particularly well thought out either – very run-of-the-mill programming. I think he needs to concentrate less on sounding “dark” and more on the sound/music/performance aspects. Nope – sorry – thought it was utterly unconvincing. Sort of talking just to hear the sound of your own voice without actually having anything to say.
One guy with a mike, a Korg Electribe and a Roland SP404, and a bass player. Now this is very different indeed. Firstly, the bass is processed to hell & high heaven. It is really very effective. It creates a sort of ambient soundscape gliding over the minimal electronic beats and sparse bleeps coming from the gadgetry. The beats are quite complex at times, and are rarely accompanied by more than a couple of well chosen loops, but the real star of the show is Maxime’s voice. It has a very fragile, ethereal quality. It reminded me at times of some of Thom Yorke’s solo stuff, and at others of snippets of things I’ve heard from Alan Lomax’s work recording folk singers in darkest corners of the United States, with a bit of Tibetan chanting thrown in for good measure. And despite being very heavily processed through the SP404, he’s managed to keep his voice clear enough so that you can understand what he’s actually singing (that’s partly down to good technique)
There was one song in particular where the gadgets were left out and it was just voice and bass. It was jaw-droppingly beautiful. This guy has a really special and unusual sense of melody. It’s well worth checking out what he’s got on MySpace. I particularly recommend a listen to “I offer you a new plant” – it gets 2 minutes in before anything other than a beat, voice & very simple bassline kick in. The sense of space is just phenomenal – the music just has so much room to breathe.
Let’s not ignore the visual aspect either – there’s a 3rd person looking after the projection backdrop with various patterns and photo montages. And Maxime himself floats around the stage in the same way as his voice haunts the room, not entirely sure if he’s just there dancing with himself in his own enclosed universe or if this is supposed to be part of the performance.
I spoke to him afterwards. He said he’d only started performing relatively recently, despite having been a bedroom bleeper for years. All I can say is keep at it, and spread the word. He’s on in St Gilles at the Maison du Peuple on 30th October. Don’t miss it.
Ext'inT - http://www.myspace.com/extintmusic
AntiluX - http://www.myspace.com/antilux
Soirées Cerises : http://www.myspace.com/soireescerise