There’s nothing like coming clean into a show, with no expectations at all, only to have your face melted off at the sheer awesomeness of what you’re hearing. That pretty much sums up my night with Chapilier Fou at Mao Livehouse, who I literally knew nothing about prior to the JUE Festival event last Thursday, and am now scouring the earth in search of all his work – this was exceptional ladies and gentlemen…he’s a little taste to get you through the rest of my ranting.
And that was just the opening song. But before I get ahead of myself it’s only appropriate to mention Yan Yulong’s act – a single continuous twenty minute presentation of minimalist violin, electronic fuzz, and muffled yelps – he definitely was testing the audience’s endurance it seems, with several crowd goings exiting as he went on, but I found it nevertheless fascinating, and underneath all the noise, found moments of transcendent beauty between all the babble. Here’s a sample of his act –
and if anyone wants the whole twenty minutes on mp3, shoot me an email – it’s definitely better as a whole.
OK – back to me gushing about Chapelier Fou – looping violin, guitar, and keys, which he samples himself, the man creates soundscapes that are simply marvelous to get lost in. He ain’t fooling around either – referencing Bach, Ysaye, and other famous composers and pieces, the man knows his classics and seamlessly integrates them with electronic keyboards (and other blips and blops) and his own compositions to make some truly hypotonic music – it grabs you and doesn’t let go. He loves every second of it as well – just look at his face while he plays “Darling Darling Darling” – he loves the smell of his own farts, and hell, I was ready to bask in them as well.
Everyone around me was equally impressed, having those moments where all you can say is “Whoa” and “This is really fucking good” (nothing sells praise like a well placed fuck) – it may seem corny but sometimes that’s the only way you can describe what is transpiring in front of you. By the time the Frenchmen was playing new tunes from his upcoming album “Invisible”, I had friends shaking me violently in joy while I continued to record – probably explains why my recording of “Vessel Arches”, which featuring the singer Gerald Kurdian in a TV staring out at us, may in fact, give you a shaky cam nausea, Cloverfield-style.
That’s why I’m gonna be a gentlemen and provide the audio version only – it’s that good.
And since I’m in a giving mood, while you’re out it, check out his other latest tune – “Cyclope & Othello” – which has echoes of a great early Danny Elfman soundtrack.
So thanks JUE for introducing me to Chapilier Fou – the mad-hatter who put me under his spell. And special shout to Young behind the soundbox at Mao – he’s the reason why the sound is so crisp and showed me the ropes back there. Check below for more greatness from the man – a video of “Fritz Lang” and a soundbite of “Shunde’s Bronx” – both off his new album coming out in the next month.