Have you seen ‘C’était un rendez-vous’, by French director Claude Lelouch? Amazing footage from a camera mounted on the front bumper of a sports car speeding around Paris in the early hours. Snow Patrol appropriated it for a music video, but Rhododendron do it better on Paris Rendezvous, an improvised soundtrack to that film that makes up one side of this 10” release on Deep Distance.
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- Paris Rendezvous / Le Grind by Rhododendron
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Claude Lelouch’s short work ‘C’etait un rendez-vous’ is a minimalist masterstroke of filmmaking, depicting Paris through an eight-minute car ride around Europe’s most Valentine-appropriate city. The plot is pretty simple: the car keeps moving and the camera keeps shooting. As for the soundtrack, it’s raw sound: wheels turning over, an engine revving and the outside world doing whatever the fuck it choose to do. Could do with some motorik, don’t you think?
Rhododendron think so. On their first release outside of promotional Record Store Day bluster, they present a 10” of imagined soundtrack works for the film, offering two tracks of noisy, Krautish synth ‘n’ guitar punk that moves uncontrollably but stays fixed in its spot. Like treading water while interpretive dancing, their music shows off steady, absolute rhythms while everything else goes peripheral: on “Paris Rendezvous “, the synths peak and peak and peak, the surfy guitars go over the edge and the distortion starts to grow its own pair of legs. It’s pretty fitting road trip music, right? The car stays its course until the job is done; out of the window, though, anything could happen.
“Le Grind” is much the same, locked in to a thorough bass groove and allowing squeaky synths to crack the corners. This one gets weirder, one might argue, unwinding into a strange mess of electronic goo that isn’t the result of a climax as much as it is motorik inertia. I’d call it travel sickness, but it’s way too fun. Rhododendron are one to keep in mind for your next hypno-party.
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