Oiseaux–Tempête — Ütopiya? Location: Paris, France
Album release: March 24, 2015
Record Label: Sub Rosa
01. Omen: Divided We Fall
02. Ütopiya / On Living (feat G.W.Sok)
03. Someone Must Shout That We Will Build The Pyramids
04. Fortune Teller
05. Yallah Karga (Dance Song)
06. Soudain Le Ciel
07. I Terribili Infanti
08. Portals Of Tomorrow
09. Requiem For Tony
10. Aslan Sütü (Santé, Vieux–Monde!)
BONUS ON CD ONLY
11. Palindrome Series (Live at Saint–Merry)
♦ Frédéric D. Oberland | guitar, mellotron, piano, keys, alto sax, field recordings
♦ Stéphane Pigneul | bass VI, guitars, sampler, drum machine
♦ Ben Mc Connell | drums, percussion
♦ Gareth Davis | bass clarinet
♦ G.W.Sok | guest vocals on "Ütopiya / On Living"
♦ Karel Doing | 16mm projector sound on "Palindrome Series"
♦ FREDERIC D. OBERLAND
♦ STEPHANE PIGNEUL
♦ BEN MC CONNELL
♦ GARETH DAVIS
♦ G.W. SOK
♦ Benoît Bel Live Recording, Mixing, Producer
♦ Ben McConnell Drums, Group Member, Percussion
♦ Mountain Design
♦ Harris Newman Mastering
♦ Frederic D. Oberland Field Recording, Guitar, Keyboards, Sax (Alto), Vocals
♦ Oiseaux–Tempête Composer, Editing, Primary Artist, Producer
♦ Stephane Pigneul Bass, Delay, Sampling, Vocals
♦ Stéphane C. Field Recording, Photography
By Alan Ranta; Published May 01, 2015; Score: 8
•♦• Paris–based post–rock outfit Oiseaux–Tempête released their self–titled debut album in 2013, and the foundation laid there has been built upon by its follow–up, ÜTOPIYA?. Their last album was intrinsically tangled with the politics of Greece, its collection of field recordings synched with its production, but the group entered the studio for ÜTOPIYA? first, with Benoît Bel recording the whole thing over the course of three days in Lyon. Afterwards, those live sessions were linked with the sound and feel of Istanbul and Sicily, to add the simmering urgency to their free–jazz– and Krautrock–inflected improvisations.
•♦• The new arrival of bass clarinettist Gareth Davis altered the dynamic of the group slightly, too, pushing the role of Stéphane Pigneul towards different sounds, adding drum machine and electric/acoustic guitars to his credits on this album, while Ben McConnell keeps on the drums and Frédéric D. Oberland works the keys, guitar, alto sax and field recordings. Its sense of drama is heightened by the appearance of G.W. Sok (former frontman of the Ex), who lends guest vocals on "Ütopiya / On Living" in reading a Nâzim Hikmet poem, as well as a Mellotron flute–led interpretation of Giorgio Moroder's Scarface theme called "Requiem for Tony." The sax and noise–laced crescendo of "Someone Must Shout That We Will Build the Pyramids," meanwhile, is as epic as anything Godspeed You! Black Emperor ever did. Cinematic, political, dynamic and nuanced: this is post–rock at its best. •♦• http://exclaim.ca/
•♦• ÜTOPIYA? not only continues their first album, but it extends it. The travels move this time to Istanbul and Sicily providing the food for its urgent energy and indomitable drive. While the structures still hint at moments of post–rock, they go further now, almost into the area of free–jazz yet without loosing a directness rooted in punk (highlighted perhaps by the presence of G.W.Sok from The Ex). In addition, the bass clarinet of Gareth Davis references both the roughest of experiments of Akosh Szelevényi and of The Stooges Fun House.
•♦• There are, so the story goes, sea birds that reveal themselves only at times of approaching storms. This story though, is a little more complicated. For some, the pipers riding the deluge, yet for the mariner the prophets in the lingering final moments of calm. Thus, ultimately, are they the creator or created if the existence
of one requires the other? It is this Mediterranean Sea that OISEAUX–TEMPÊTE chose to roam. In 2013, on a trip to Greece, they returned with an account of the political upheaval and spread of discontent which is now so easy to follow two years later. An album of tension, cinematographic as it rides the storms which it documents. A disc
positioned, ultimately, in the statement.
•♦• More or less anchored in Paris, OISEAUX–TEMPÊTE is the result of the meeting between Frédéric D. Oberland & Stéphane Pigneul (members of both Farewell Poetry and Le Réveil des Tropiques) and Ben McConnell (Beach House and Marissa Nadler). For ÜTOPIYA?, the group is expanded with the addition of bass clarinet virtuoso Gareth Davis.
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