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Colleen
Captain of None

Colleen — Captain of None (April 6th , 2015)

                  Colleen — Captain of None Colleen — Captain of None (April 6th , 2015)Birth name: Cécile Schott
Born: 1976, Paris, France
Location: x
Genre: MODERN CLASSICAL / AMBIENT
Album release: April 6th , 2015
Record Label: Thrill Jockey
Duration:     42:28
Tracks:
01. Holding Horses     5:10
02. I’m Kin     6:06
03. This Hammer Breaks     6:03
04. Salina Stars     3:39
05. Lighthouse     6:39
06. Soul Alphabet     4:54
07. Eclipse     4:00
08. Captain of None     5:57
Review
By Daniel Sylvester, Published Mar 10, 2015; Score: 8
Ξ   Despite what you might hear on Captain of None, Colleen is a folk musician at heart. Although over five full–lengths, Cécile Schott (a.k.a. Colleen) has openly flirted with sleek electronic beats and avant–garde song structures, much of the French musician’s sound emanates from her knack for expressive storytelling and organic musical communication. Even on Captain of None’s three instrumentals, Colleen moves her songs forward via a moody melodious narrative, thanks to the unique sound of her viola da gamba (which she chooses to play pizzicato–style).
Ξ   But it’s the album’s five other tracks, on which Colleen uses her vocals, that separate Captain of None from the rest of her catalogue. Washed in effects and production haze, tracks like “Lighthouse” and “Eclipse” come off dreamy and otherworldly, while “This Hammer Breaks” and “Soul Alphabet” utilize punchy world music rhythms. For a musician who has been leaning on the same style of ambient electronic for years, Colleen bravely reaches for something outside her ethereal comfort zone on Captain of None.  :: http://exclaim.ca/
Description:
Ξ   Following on from an extended period of silence broken by 2013’s “The Weighing of the Heart” album, Cécile Schott a.k.a. Colleen returns with the fantastic “Captain Of None”, without question the finest record of her career to date. It’s the second Colleen outing that features her own vocals, but this time round there is a heightened pop sensibility fuelled by an immersion in the works of Arthur Russell (and in particular Tim Lawrence’s excellent biography “Hold On to Your Dreams”), as well as an unexpected love of Jamaican music manifest here via her first ever incorporation of basslines, but also more extreme studio techniques that intrude the arrangements and jolt the listener whenever the album becomes too easy on the ear. Schott recently described the album to FACT as “…the poppiest and the most experimental record of my career..” — and it’s an apt summation of a record that is immensely approachable, memorable, but also quietly daring with its effortless blend of neo–classical signatures and more unexpected, angular elements. The aforementioned basslines are provided by a small Viola De Gamba (which is said to be the instrument that most closely resembles the sound of the human voice) which first makes an appearance on opening track “Holding Horses” — underpinning those instantly familiar harp cascades with some bass weight, but it’s on the immeasurably beautiful ‘I’m Kin’ that you get a fully panoramic view of just how far Schott has come as a producer over the last few years. Ξ   “This Hammer Breaks” pushes further into the new, including a gloriously messy percussive assault that undulates and ricochets with carefully overplayed delay and echo to startling effect, while "Salina Stars” ushers a Melodica in to proceedings with a gently chaotic touch. So, to sum up, 'Captain Of None' is a real French fancy; an impossibly lovely reverie mirroring sylvan vocals with a world of sonic influences that reminds us of everything from Brenda Ray's sun–struck Casio reggae to Grouper's exquisite use of negative space, creating a twilight garden maze of resonant wonder that we just can’t stop listening to... :: https://boomkat.com/
Review
Ξ   Colleen is French multi–instrumentalist Cecile Schott, who uses her voice and the treble viola da gamba (a baroque instrument with gut strings), to weave intricate stories about the human mind and heart. Captain of None is the most melodic album in her repertoire, with fast–paced tracks rooted down by prominent bass lines and assorted percussive effects. It is also an album that breaks new ground for Colleen in terms of production.
Ξ   While previous works centered around sample– based or looped, minimal compositions, on Captain of None Schott significantly changed her approach, setting her viola and her voice as focal points. Captain of None is inhabited by delicately crafted, other–worldly pop songs incorporating dub–inspired techniques.
Ξ   Captain of None was recorded, mixed, and produced entirely by Schott in her music studio in San Sebastian, Spain. Schott tried to open the gates in the way she played, sang, and wrote lyrics for the album, and set out to explore how effects like delay and echo could go from the “cosmetic sound varnish” role they usually play to a fully dynamic, constructive, song–shaping role.
Ξ   Although the influence of Jamaican music is subtle, its implicit impact is felt throughout Captain of None. As a child, Schott became enamored with a cassette tape of Lee Perry tracks from 1976 to 1979. She continued to explore the music of Jamaica, awed by the amount and the variety of incredible music that was recorded with such breathtaking inventiveness. This infatuation can be heard on tracks like “Eclipse,” where Schott utilizes some of the more common dub production techniques, such as using an echo effect on the percussion and vocals. Her love of Augustus Pablo can be felt on “Salina Stars,” in which Schott uses the melodica, an instrument that she played for years but never used on her albums. She incorporates a Moogerfooger delay pedal to create vocal feedback and analog glitches, and used homemade devices — chopsticks, an Indonesian metal printing block — as percussion.
Ξ   As for her unique main instrument of choice, Schott first noticed the viola da gamba in the film Tous les matins du monde when she was 15 years old. The instrument, which has been said to be the musical instrument that most resembles the sound of the human voice, heavily resonated with her. However, rather than bowing the instrument in a traditional manner, and heavily influenced by African music from different countries, genres, and eras, Schott tunes the viola da gamba like a guitar and plucks it, opening up a new world of sound that she explores in great depth on Captain of None, an addictive, unconventional pop album.
Artist Biography by Andy Kellman
Ξ   Cécile Schott, from France, made her debut as Colleen with 2003’s Everyone Alive Wants Answers. Released in 2003 on England’s Leaf label, its dreamy and ambient but melodic material was based around heavily treated samples from her record collection. Ξ   The album’s reception led to performances, but she found herself uninterested in relying strictly on a laptop, so she incorporated instruments and effects, in addition to loops. As a result, 2005’s The Golden Morning Breaks took on an organic sound relative to her debut, with several acoustic instruments (including guitars, old pianos, mallets, and even toy instruments) treated by effects. Her third proper album, 2007’s Les Ondes Silencieuses, was preceded by an entry in the Staalplaat label's live series Mort aux Vaches, as well as the EP Colleen et les Boîtes a Musique (which was made with music boxes).
ABOUT
Ξ   Colleen is French multi–instrumentalist Cecile Schott, who uses her voice and the treble viola da gamba (a baroque instrument with gut strings), to weave intricate stories about the human mind and heart. Captain of None is the most melodic album in her repertoire, with fast–paced tracks rooted down by prominent bass lines and assorted percussive effects. It is also an album that breaks new ground for Colleen in terms of production. While previous works centered around sample–based or looped, minimal compositions, on Captain of None Schott significantly changed her approach, setting her viola and her voice as focal points. Captain of None is inhabited by delicately crafted, other–worldly pop songs incorporating dub–inspired techniques.
Captain of None was recorded, mixed, and produced entirely by Schott in her music studio in San Sebastian, Spain. Schott tried to open the gates in the way she played, sang, and wrote lyrics for the album, and set out to explore how effects like delay and echo could go from the “cosmetic sound varnish” role they usually play to a fully dynamic, constructive, song–shaping role.
Ξ   Although the influence of Jamaican music is subtle, its implicit impact is felt throughout Captain of None. As a child, Schott became enamored with a cassette tape of Lee Perry tracks from 1976 to 1979. She continued to explore the music of Jamaica, awed by the amount and the variety of incredible music that was recorded with such breathtaking inventiveness. This infatuation can be heard on tracks like “Eclipse,” where Schott utilizes some of the more common dub production techniques, such as using an echo effect on the percussion and vocals. Her love of Augustus Pablocan be felt on “Salina Stars,” in which Schott uses the melodica, an instrument that she played for years but never used on her albums. She incorporates a Moogerfooger delay pedal to create vocal feedback and analog glitches, and used homemade devices — chopsticks, an Indonesian metal printing block — as percussion.
Ξ   As for her unique main instrument of choice, Schott first noticed the viola da gamba in the film Tous les matins du monde when she was 15 years old. The instrument, which has been said to be the musical instrument that most resembles the sound of the human voice, heavily resonated with her. However, rather than bowing the instrument in a traditional manner, and heavily influenced by African music from different countries, genres, and eras, Schott tunes the viola da gamba like a guitar and plucks it, opening up a new world of sound that she explores in great depth on Captain of None, an addictive, unconventional pop album. :: http://www.thrilljockey.com/       
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Colleen
Captain of None

 

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