Whilst the music scene has spawned many acoustic/electronic hybrids, many of them turned out to be merely pedestrian. Cabaret Contemporain succeeded because that sonic field needed some fresh air. Far from the usual parallels between dance and contemporary classical music, their sound shares everything with electronic music but the process, and that’s fertile ground in which they've been laboring for about four years.
Cabaret Contemporain has spent this time travelling music venues and festivals all over the world. They perfected their strike force on stage and forged their identity through unique performances. At les Nuits Sonores or Days Off in France, Rewire in the Netherlands or Dancity and Milan’s Expo15 in Italy, the band’s multiple projects promoted the sound and visuals of electronic music under a new form - meticulous but physical. Often dubbed “a living rhythm box”, the five musicians are using instruments that are carefully prepared following their own methods. Their tool box is full of screwdrivers and jam jars, altering their guitar, drum kit, piano and two double-bass and pushing them to their limits.
This marathon of strength and dexterity confronts danger with mechanic rigor and sudden bouts of improvisation with precise structure. The experience is never repeated and takes unexpected shapes according to the mood of the moment. Overseen by an in-house sound engineer (the 6th man of the band), this fury is akin to that of lengthy DJ-sets, but transcribed with the endurance of proper instrumentalists - an approach that derives from minimalism and strikes like techno. Sometimes joined by prestigious figures from the electro scene such as Etienne Jaumet (Zombie Zombie) or Château Flight (Gilb’r and I:Cube from the Versatile label), the band has manipulated onstage the ADN of pioneers Kraftwerk or Terry Riley and offered a trance-inducing review of their catalogue, beyond the usual man/machine cleavage.
Besides their extensive touring which made them a genuine live phenomenon, the members of Cabaret Contemporain have worked separately over 6 months to translate these 3 years of sonic outbursts on record. And here comes this eponymous LP, their first attempt made of original material, which gathers 7 luminous and rustling tracks of exacerbated music, where textures blend into rhythms, and each sound’s origin cannot be firmly identified. Moods are fluctuating between threatening pulsions (La Biche), gleams of nostalgia (Love), and glimpses of oddity (The Sun Is Shining In The Dark Night). It’s a work on hypnosis and power, on colours and dance music dynamics, which bears similarities with that of Four Tet, Voices From The Lake, Brandt Bauer Frick, James Holden or Daphni/Caribou. Cabaret Contemporain feels close to such references, as they’ve signed on electro/experimental label from Berlin M=Minimal (distributed by German techno mammoth Kompakt), and had their Une Des Deux single remixed by a notorious artist from the club sphere Arnaud Rebotini.