Les Marquises is Jean-Sébastien Nouveau’s grand ensemble project, featuring artists like Matt Elliott of The Third Eye Foundation and Agathe Max among many others. A Night Full Of Collapses makes great use of this line-up, sprinkling rich and varied instrumentation throughout its noirish chamber pop. Released by Ici d’ailleurs.
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- A Night Full Of Collapses by Les Marquises
8/10 Clinton Staff review, 22 February 2017
With an enormous cast featuring Matt Elliott and the cream of France's neo-classical community in tow, Jean-Sébastien Nouveau has here concocted the sort of noir-ish chamber pop that has the kind of sweeping intensity and deadly serious world view that can only be truly provided by the French. Opener 'Vallees Closes' is a lovely mix of neo-classical orchestration, French language spoken word and a surprising fade that seems to take place just as the track is reaching a crescendo.
I can imagine this music being played in an elaborate Parisian music hall, with a red velvet curtain and the musicians in tuxedos, yet there is always a dark swirling undercurrent, 'Lament' transfers the language to English which allows me to hear the bleak intonations over the rhythmic mix of twanged double bass and pulsating percussion.
Although sharing something with French singer Domenique A there are also hints of late period Talk Talk in the percussion on 'Feu Pale' which features Matt Elliott's croon. Evocative and complex song craft, short on laughs but with a brooding intensity that should appeal to fans of Nick Cave and brooding post rock groups like Piano Magic but with a particular gallic flair throughout. Impressive.
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