May 21 2016
There is a magnetic charm to Au Pire, un Bien that is easy to fall for. Guitarist Gilles Coronado keeps flirting with dreamy, melodic ambiance, but time and time again, he veers the songs off into harsh, volatile territory, and those melodic fragments that once appeared to have the power to enchant instead begin whipping about furtively while Coronado’s quartet fires off sheets of flame in every direction. “Wasted and Whirling” opens with an extended ambient trance, but them, as if suddenly woken from a dream, immediately sets about growling and barking out warped melodic shards. Even the delightful title-track, which dives head-first into pop music territory with the vocal contribution of guest Philippe Katerine flashes plenty of sharp claws and a willingness to use them.
Opening song “La Traque” is representative of Coronado’s approach to storytelling. The path from start to finish is never in a straight line and it’s often unpredictable, and the tension from not knowing where the next note is likely to land is more than a little addictive. Add to this approach Coronado’s constant hinting at a prettier, sweeter melodicism, and that’s the axis of where this album goes from being just interesting to something that will sink its hooks in deep.
And in a satisfying twist, Coronado ends the album with a song that he spent the entirety of the recording merely suggesting. “Presque Joyeuse” concludes the affair with a peaceful serenade of quiet thoughtfulness and contented introspection.
Just one of those albums that develops a compelling sound and mines it for all it’s worth. Very cool.
Your album personnel: Gilles Coronado (guitars), Matthieu Metzger (alto sax, electronics), Antonin Rayon (Hammond B3, clavinet, bass, keyboards), Franck Vaillant (drums, electronics, percussion) and guest: Philippe Katerine (vocal).
Released on La Buissonne.
Listen to more album tracks on the label’s Bandcamp page.
Jazz from the Paris, France scene.