KIKu adoubé par Blixa Bargeld à Paris

KiKu_Presspic_01_72dpi_1_530_352« Vous êtes là pour Blixa ? » se demande-t-on poliment au sein d’une foule compacte d’où émerge, en connaisseur, la tête du géant (au sens propre) de l’électro analogique parisienne, Arnaud Rebotini. Blixa Bargeld, donc, fait l’attraction de ce premier concert de rentrée au centre culturel suisse. Le fondateur d’Einstürzende Neubauten vient prêter sa voix caverneuse au nouveau projet de KIKu, le duo d’indus jazz romand. Mais, comme pour rester fidèle au titre de leur album, « Marcher sur la tête », Yannick Barman, à la trompette et Cyril Regamey, à la batterie, s’amusent d’emblée à brouiller les pistes. En introduisant le slammeur lausanno-new-yorkais Black Cracker et leur guitariste David Doyon, ils démarrent par une impressionnante session de hip hop noise, tandis que sur l’écran sont projetés les dandinements d’une caméra entre deux murs léprosés. Regamey, métronomique sur sa batterie électronique et Barman, toujours entre miaulements de trompettes et mélodies fugaces orchestrent l’ensemble avec toute leur science du micro silence et du groove impossible.

Quelques morceaux plus tard, après cet échauffement emballant, frémissements : « Blixa », impassible dans son costume trois pièces impeccables, débarque en fauteuil. A peine le temps d’un « Bonjour ! » tonitruant, et déjà les meilleurs morceaux de « Marcher sur la tête » s’enchaînent. Avec « Nuages », longue composition labyrinthique, KIKu tempête sur drone; sur « Belehrung », poème de Herman Hesse contée d’une voix profonde, la trompette chuinte du free jazz; sur le classique new wave des Korgis, « Everybody’s got to learn sometime », d’incongrus apartés pop font leur apparition. Parfois, Blixa lâchera un cri ou soulèvera un sourcil rageur, Régamey laissera l’impression d’être le Tony Martin du free-drone; Barman, la trompette dans la bouche, fricotera avec ses machines (la sainte trinité sampler-ipad-laptop). Mais toujours, sauf peut-être pour le final, qui, à défaut de marcher sur la tête, piétinera les tympans, toujours KIKu, Blixa et Black Cracker réussiront à rester imprévisibles.

Le 20 janvier 2015 au Centre Culturel Suisse de Paris

Egalement le 22 janvier au Bad Bonn de Düdingen et le 23 janvier aux Docks de Lausanne

Album : « Marcher sur la tête » (Everest Records)

Marc Perrenoud Talks on the Eve of his US Tour

2014 has been a good year for Marc Perrenoud and his trio of Cyril Regamey on drums and Marco Müller on double bass. They’ve toured China, Taiwan, Europe and are off to the US this month to play five cities and cover about 20,000 kilometres of American soil.

The gigs have followed their well-received third album, Vestry Lamento (released October 2013-April ’14). Frank Alkyer of Downbeat magazine crucially wrote, ‘Would someone please book this band for a tour of the States? We want to see them live!’


MarcPerrenoudUSAI spoke to Marc Perrenoud about his feelings on the eve of the trio’s US tour.

Marc Perrenoud I’m very excited. US people are very open, I’m not nervous, I just feel pleasure to go there…Playing in New York is always a big thing, but I am very excited to discover New Orleans, it must be an incredible place…and it’s the birthplace of jazz. There’s so much music there and I’m really looking forward to that, to ‘feeling’ Louisiana.

Sometimes it can be hard to be from a little country but sometimes it makes you more curious…you have to be because we have to leave Switzerland and that’s very stimulating. I am very honoured that these guys invited me, a Swiss guy, to play jazz there – it’s crazy. It’s so cool.

Do you think Vestry Lamento was particularly suitable for US audiences?

Marc Perrenoud There is a very big difference between Two Churches [his previous album] and this one. I was a little bit, not bored, but tired of the top, classical jazz, European style…so I tried to think about what I love about this music – and that is American jazz from the ’60s and even earlier. I tried to put some musical ideas like the energy and the swing style into this CD but with my European culture too, to make a mix of these two cultures.

In this album I was more confident in my partners. I was a control freak before, so I had an idea and would be like – you have to play that and that. Now the ideas are more precise and I can give more liberty to the musicians…It gave more pleasure and more energy to the drummer and bass-player and they had more fun playing because their ideas are in there too. It really grew together.

When will you work on a new album and what direction will it take?

Marc Perrenoud When we finish the US tour we are working for the month of December on the new repertoire and the new trio CD for 2015. I think recording will take place in February or March. After the US we’ll be full of ideas, I think it will be a good moment to write new things. We had a very exciting year, but it will be good to calm down and write.

The direction: you can never say exactly what it is, but I am sure about the manner with which to work and write together with the trio – it will be the same way and same kind of energy as with Vestry Lamento.

With the new album I will try to have a longer release time to focus on a new country every month with good PR. It’s good to have big festivals [to play] but it’s always important to meet people in smaller clubs. At Ronnie Scott’s we jammed til 3.30am…it was nice to meet the London jazz scene and have a real bebop jam session. Then I went straight to the Gatwick Express at 5am [to get to the airport – proper jazz stylee].

What have you found inspiring recently?

Marc Perrenoud I try to often go to concerts but also to theatre – I saw a very good theatre piece of Dostoyevsky, I go to opera, rock, jazz concerts. It’s very important to me to go to live music and performance. I’ve seen Roy Hargrove, a cool concert of Brad Mehldau solo and Joe Lovano.

I have a project next year with actors, poetry and music – trying to make something new. I think jazz is made from these things, we need improvisation in jazz and to do that we need to look everywhere. It’s why it’s unstable and moving because we have to continually find ideas and, sure, other arts are very inspiring.

18/11 Somethin Jazz Club, New York
20/11 Snug Harbor, New Orleans, Louisiana
21/11 The Jazz Station, Eugene, Oregon
23/11 Upstairs at Vitello’s, Los Angeles, California
24/11 Lobero Theatre, Santa Barbara, California

The Who Trio presents “The Who Zoo”

The Who ZooFrom the opening, assured double bass note and urgent cymbal tapping to piano notes peeking shyly out, the quality of The Who Zoo is apparent. The acoustic side of this limited release, double album uphold the trio’s aim: to respectfully work on the art of improvisation.

It sounds like a whale singing of unrequited love

The track Rembellarun stands out for feeling like an actual composition, all be it a dreamlike one with Michel Wintsch at his melancholic best and Gerry Hemingway providing an edge by literally scraping the side of a cymbal. It sounds like a whale singing of unrequited love. Just when the percussive ideas begin to dominate, in rides a piano rebuff – a few notes delivered with confidence and defiance.

Hemingway is a constant imaginative presence sensitively patting out ideas and allowing cymbals to whisper sweet nothings around the hook line in Demmpa. Bänz Oester tunes in, but asserts his own ideas with an intimate knowledge of strokes, caresses and pulls of his bass strings. The inventiveness of his playing borders on the magical.

I like it when they get raw and primal

I didn’t like Sloeperr to begin with, then at nine minutes in, on maybe the third listen, I got goosebumps and almost tears in my eyes as the warped hymn lines and piano poundings, bass vibrations and beatings and rattling drum funk entangled me in an emotional net. I like it when they get raw and primal. They can handle it without resorting to cliché. There are times when I’m certain Hemingway could get in chops and licks but he keeps it organic, all three staying riveted to the present moment. This favouring of the integrated ‘group solo’ enables an uninterrupted onslaught.

Hemingway was a name in the ‘loft scene’ of 1970s New York where free jazz had laid the foundation and was developed by new creatives such as Joe McPhee, Don Pullen and David Murray. His presence is powerful but his depth of experience is matched by Oester and Wintsch. Michel embroiders the music with runs that sound like glass beads scattering and exquisite melodies that seem to trickle from a Peter Greenaway film soundtrack.

How I’d love to hear Oester on electric bass

The second CD is mis-titled as ‘Electric’. I was expecting Wintsch on Fender Rhodes and how I’d love to hear Oester on electric bass, but in fact at the core of these longer improvisations are the acoustic instruments with what seems to be decorative strokes of synthesiser, electric sound effects and noodlings. ‘Acoustic Plus’ may have been a better description.

This release has a multitude of textures and thoughts: dry, scraping grief, assertive fury and vulnerable beauty. Although I wouldn’t have complained at even more variety, it’s quite an achievement to capture improvised music as it should be heard – live. The Who Zoo is an exploration of the potency of improvisation and all venues interested in such music should book them now.

The WHO Trio, The Who Zoo (Auricle Records / Nagual Music)
The Who Trio
Auricle Records

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