Good news on this Friday the 13th – Automelodi has a Bandcamp now, and not only does it have his excellent 2nd full-length album, he also uploaded a single from last year that was previously hard to find. Lendemain acide no2 is fun, dancy and is the newest track available from Automelodi, so you bet I listen to it a lot while I wait for future releases!
And the year is off to a fantastic start. Event page here!
I’ve been out of the country and not listening to much music for the past few weeks, but I’m back and catching up by combing the internet for new music. Tonight I’m really enjoying this mixtape by Xavier Paradis of Automelodi, so I thought I’d share it – perfect mix of italo disco/minimal synth tunes to listen to during a rainy evening. The mix has some songs from great Canadian projects (Essaie Pas, Violence, Xarah Dion) and a bunch of artists that are new to me and sound terrific!
One last quick post before heading out of the country for a few weeks. Cinéma Vengeance is a minimal-synth band that I can’t dig up much info about, but my friends in Montréal tell me that Xavier Paradis of Automelodi was drumming live with them last month and they said it was a fantastic live show! Apparently Xavier indicated that this project will have a more industrial feel than Automelodi. So I’m guessing it’s a Canadian project, looks like it’s been active for about a year and a half, and it’s fun. (Edit: The other band members are Nick Coldhands from Effet Werther and Fred from Police des moeurs) That’s all I got…check out their demos here.
Are you ready for some minimal-synth…from space? Because that’s the description that comes to mind for the coldwave project Ortrotasce. The Portland based band uses a mixture of analog and digital sounds to create a bloopy soundscape that has a slightly different atmosphere on every release, but keeps a constant lo-fi and classic minimal-synth feel. The entire Phase Four album reminds me of the soundtrack of a sparsely populated space station!
My favourite release by Ortrotasce so far has been their Forgotten EP. It is a higher paced release than Phase Four, and fans of Martial Canterel, Automelodi and the like will probably really dig this sound. Darkly reverberating vocals and soaring synth lines are plentiful here – this is my recent go-to album for having people over or (in a more boring situation) fun cleaning music. I listened to one release and it didn’t really stick with me; many thanks to my friend Louis for poking me and getting me to listen to more of this great band!
You can find a TON of songs from Ortrotasce at their bandcamp here. Though it seems Nic Hamersly (who is, from what I can tell, the sole artist behind this band) started this project only early last year, it’s been quite an active project.
Some seriously interesting stuff on the new Electric Voice Records compilation – feel like some new Soft Metals? A new (rare instrumental) track from Vancouver’s own Cosmetics? If I were to neglect to mention that the compilation also contains a really fun new song from Automelodi, you would know this blog has been hijacked. But most interestingly of all, a track by Martial Canterel that features ONLY GUITARS. My mind is blown – true to form, it’s a great and atmospheric track. The whole release is fantastic mood music, listen to/buy it here.
Recently arrived back from my journey to Montréal and experiencing some post trip depression as I had a really excellent time! It was fun to officially meet Sovannak of Productions Haineuses/Traumatismes, who brings a lot of coldwave (and dark underground bands of other genres) to the city. It was great to be able to trade some music recommendations with him – I came away with a list of about 150 projects to check out, a couple of which I’ll be covering in upcoming blog entries.
On my second night there I went to the show that caused me to book my flight in the first place. The venue was Deathouse, an intimate little cave that was perfect for a smaller show. The place was packed with a lively crowd though, so the energy was high. I unfortunately had to leave before the out of town headliners hit the stage, but was happy to see the first three bands, all hailing from Montréal.
The first band on stage was Essaie Pas, a minimal synth band who captivated with their sexy and sinuous live show. Reminiscent of Vancouver’s Cosmetics, the beats are often very simple with relaxed and breezy vocals. The combination of these elements make a really outstanding soundscape, and my concert buddy Louis mentioned that this music brought to mind some of David Lynch’s albums – so it’s a must hear if that sounds down your alley.
The next band on was Void Republic. I hadn’t made the time to check this band out before seeing him perform, but he was an amazing live show! Dark electro minimal beats that reverberated throughout my body and made dancing impossible to resist (but why would you want to?). This band has a surprisingly few amount of listens on Last.fm/likes on Facebook, so I hope he gains the recognition he deserves while I hold out for hope that I’ll catch him live again someday!
The last set I was around for was Automelodi. I’d been waiting a while to see this band, and it was better than I’d imagined! I was a little worried before the performance as there were some issues with the soundcheck, and they left the stage for at least half an hour with no explanation. A couple of friends started to scare me but saying that it’s happened before where Automelodi didn’t like the ambiance of a venue and left without playing (I really doubt the validity of this – there was a lot of teasing happening, i.e. “What if you paid $600 for a plane ticket and then didn’t get to see Automelodi after all?”). But soon the band came onstage with an apology for the wait, and the show began. Xavier Paradis was in good form, wearing his signature striped sailor shirt and throwing lots of spirit and intensity into his performance. His guitarist made the live show have some extra kick, and the band and crowd alike were having a fantastic time. When Digresse started to play, it was pretty obvious that it’s one of his personal favourites based on the amount of energetic bouncing and tambourine shaking/smashing that was happening 😀 Definitely envy the fact that the Montréal scene can see Automelodi’s show fairly often – it was an evening to remember.
“The vinyl is sealed with medical gauze and includes two small inserts. Recorded and mixed by Paradis in 1998 and 1999 at Linus Van Pelt Hospital somewhere under the snow in Canada.”
Arnaud Lazlaud’s Le Malade Roi/Elan vinyl release – sounds perfect.
Automelodi is one of those bands that stand out as being ‘love at first hear’ in my world. From my introductory listen to the self-titled album I was hooked and dancing in my living room. The synthy beep boops-! My ears were really, really happy. By the middle of the album (I can pinpoint the moment to hearing ‘Buanderie Jazz’ for the first time) I was starting to lose it. It was music that included all of the song elements I love all at once, so I was really excited. I read up on the band and learned that Xavier Paradis (vocalist and driving force behind Automelodi) had some other great side projects such as Arnaud Lazlaud, Echo Kitty, and Liz & László. I’ve heavily listened to these side projects since hearing about them, but Automelodi seems to be a culmination of what he brought to all of those bands with an extra touch of magic. Yes. Magic. His vocals are particularly awesome because for the most part he sings in French, and utilizes plays on words a lot – the lyrics to ‘Schéma Corporel’ in particular are really clever (there’s a link to lyrics at the end of the post).
I listened to the self-titled album so much that I was actually concerned about whether I’d like his second full-length album, Surlendemains Acides, when it was released last October.
‘La Cigale’ was the first single I heard before the album’s release, and it assured me I had nothing to worry about. The song has an elegant progression that is calm, yet powerful. And the rest of the album was not a disappointment – lots of club hits amongst intriguing and beautiful instrumentals. The album was released shortly before I left for a trip to Iceland, so I have fond memories of driving around a snowy land while listening to amazing music.
Like what you hear? Check out Automelodi’s official site here. Not only can you buy the music there, but he’s uploaded all of his lyrics so you can sing along, or if you’re a student of French like me you can have the words available to translate. Thanks for the music, Xavier 🙂
P.S. I’m especially happy right now because I’ll be heading to Montréal this month and will finally get to see Automelodi perform live – expect a post about that in the future!
P.P.S. I just noticed that on the Surlendemains Acides album, someone is credited as being a ‘synthesizer ghost’ on one track. Can someone please tell me how I can grow up to be a synthesizer ghost? …I’m serious. That sounds like my dream job.