With the eight-song out-of-body experience that is Deja-Vous comes a new live recording by the five-piece French experimental pop band known collectively as Aquaserge. This veteran unit cut teeth with Tame Impala, Stereolab, Melody’s Echo Chamber, Aksak Maboul ,and Acid Mothers Temple, and you can hear that in their grizzled, atonal, snarling fuzzbox sound—a triumphant footnote to Sonic Youth and Captain Beefheart.
Yep: Benjamin Gilbert, Audrey Ginestet, Julien Chamla, Julien Gasc and Manon Gilbert deliver the smack-down on how skilled musicianship can move through experimental jazz, French film music, noise, kraut, and psychedelic rock without sounding vanilla.
This band, which looks and sounds jazzy, eclectic, quirky, hip, cute, intellectual, futuristic, or dadaesque when performing together in a live setting as Aquaserge, will singe your face off.
No seriously. It’s on the damn record.
After peeling the skin off your front surface, the band will then offer you a cordial rework of the Rogers & Hart standard “My Funny Valentine” in French, with a captivating horn arrangement added. Now you get the full idea of what ten years of touring outdoor European Psych fests can do for wide-ranging musical aptitude.
“Virage Sud,” the lead single from their earlier release, Laisse ça être, is converted here from a contemplative four-minute theory into ten minutes of pummeling deep digging sound excavation. Led by the sinister tone of Ginestets’ opening bass, the band falls right in line with the changing tempos, hues and improvisational cues. The off the rails trajectory that is “Travelling” feels like an underground train ride that at any moment could fly off, turning you into a shit out of luck crazy human projectile rocket.
The guitar sound of “Whole Lotta Love” billows to and from the surface, and the momentum immediately collides into a raucous, mini-jam Tintin on est bien mon loulou (extrait). It’s an on-off two minutes of a discombobulated free-form nosedive. Expertly conducted musical spasms like this only come easily to the musicians who know the rules well enough to break them. In all the right ways.
Deja-Vous says one thing loud and clear: international venue bookers need to immediately check Aquaserges availability status.
Watch the “Deja Vous Teaser” by Aquaserge:
Top photo by Franck Alix.