Tout Ce Que Je Sais captures a live recording by experimental poet Anne-James Chaton and improvising guitarist Andy Moor (primarily of The Ex), further exploring their long-running duo collaboration in the Carreau du Temple in Paris. The pieces here engage with controversial literary greats like the Marquis De Sade and William Burroughs. CD and LP release on Unsounds.
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What can you say about an album that heavily features spoken word in a language you don’t speak? ‘Tout Ce Que Je Sais’ (All That I Know) is the latest album from Anne-James Chaton & Andy Moor and it is mostly conducted in French, a language I haven’t even attempted to learn since I was 13.
Even still, to my anglophone ears,it’s clear that Chaton, a poet by trade, has a sense of timing and timbre shared with the better rappers of the world. Admittedly his flow (for lack of a better word) isn’t quite as driving and rhythmic as rappers tend to be, but his patience and deep growl make listening to him just as enjoyable. And though I may not be able to understand what he is saying, it’s always a great pleasure to hear how the sonic qualities of of other languages can be used in music. Even better, on ‘The Things That Belong to William’ Chaton duels with the disembodied voice of William Burroughs, giving us the chance to compare and contrast Chaton’s French, with Burrough’s American English.
There is another track with English on, ‘Le songe de Ludwig’ (Ludwig’s Dream), and between its lyrics, and what Burroughs Chaton and Moor chose to use, the album’s lyrics must match its instrumentation. Moor (most notably of Dutch punks The Ex) improvises gentle and brooding guitar riffs, that maintain a sense of tension that makes the album almost unbearably oppressive and disorienting.
‘Tout Ce Que Je Sais’ is an album for anyone who finds pleasure in measured intensity. This album isn’t bombastic, but it will take it out of you. And hey, if you happen to speak both English and French, what a bonus.
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