Saturday, December 3, 2011

Recommendation: Les Rhinocéros - Les Rhinocéros (Tzadik, 2011)

Ceremony of Opposites.

I think of strength, rigidity and bluntness, but also of calmness and a certain majestic quality. Rhinoceros are powerful, they have a firm body structure and seem like a severe animal, or at least one that would cause severe consequences to anyone who annoys them, without hesitation, regardless of the identity of said offensive party. I also think of them as having a certain unpredictable nature and it would be unwise to disturb them or get in their way. On the other side, they seem calm, when uninterrupted, even noble in a way. They seem to be confident of themselves, of their force and might. This impressive creature seems to possess a dual nature, but in fact those are inseparable from one another, what gives them their identity as rhinoceros.

All the above might seem unrelated at all to what this post is all about. But as Les Rhinocéros decided to name themselves after such a remarkable creature, I wondered whether there was an underlying connection between their music and the qualities of that animal. What I found was that there was a link, but it lied in the duality of the nature of the music. Specifically, the music is composed of a calm and peaceful side, at times delving into ambient textures and also of more upbeat, energetic and even raw parts. While the music never gets brutal or ferocious in anyway, it is at times crossing the border into somewhat unrestrained territories (such as in 'Up').

But it's not only atmosphere and mood that are defined by this bivalent nature; it is also the style of the music, or rather, the variety of styles at play on this album. An (almost entirely) instrumental album, the tracks set sail into different directions, some into the rock ocean, others into ambient seas with quick excursions into lakes of noise and jazz; all of these are connected through straits allowing the intermingling of the different bodies of musical waters.

For a more down-to-earth description of their music, here's what their label, Tzadik, says about them and their album:
"Hailing from the Washington, DC area, the young band Les Rhinocéros delivers a crazy world in sound, blending aspects of rock, world music, noise, ambient and jazz. The trio of teenagers was formed in 2008 while the players were still in high school, and has developed since then into an intense and wildly imaginative group that takes music to its extremes. Emotional, minimalistic, intense and grooving, this is music that goes beyond imagination to the edges of sanity. The group continues their sonic experiments by adding unusual instruments into the traditional rock band setting." - Tzadik

Amazon (USA)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Any comments?