Friday, 27 June 2008

HEALTH + chromatics @ villette sonique

Dot to Dot part 2 is in production. Will try and catch up with myself soon, I haven't blogged as much lately and it's a bit annoying. Trying to make the most of what time is left of me in Paris, and working full-time at a record label and going out pretty much every night is sapping mes temps libres. Enough of the excuses.

Casting my mind back a few weekends ago, it was the day after Danger at Fleche D'Or. I had a hangover that cast a dark, dark shadow over my mind and body and thought it would be a good idea to go to a music festival at Parc de la Villette to see HEALTH and Chromatics. HEALTH having a reputation for being loud. Very loud. That said, they know how use silence as well.

Emerging from the metro to find this science park (it contains the biggest science museum in Europe) was really odd. It did not feel like I was about to have my head blown off. It was quite peaceful, parents with kids on shoulders strolling round the park whilst HEALTH were spotted walking around angrily in the minutes running up to their performance. It was, I think, the biggest aural assault my ears have received since seeing Death From Above 1979 live a couple of years back, and I really admire the inventiveness of HEALTH in terms of the way they used vocal effects to completely distort and elevate their voices at the same time was awesome. And they just battered the shit out of their instruments totally.

HEALTH - Triceratops
visit their myspace /// buy from lovepump

Drizzle had started to descend as HEALTH left the stage, and we wandered about the various record stalls that were set up on the neighbouring lawn. Finally picked up a copy of Motor from the good people at My Electro Kitchen. Chromatics were having sound problems. Johnny Jewel, electronics maestro for the four-piece, had managed to blow a fuse or something, which took ages to fix. Eventually, it was good to go and you can see why they took so long given how essential Jewel is to the group. His synths and samples (does he sample Manuel Gottsching or is that just me?) drive the whole thing, and I don't mean to take anything away from the other guys in saying that. The guitarist, is a bit of a one-trick pony really, if you took away his effects he would sound really bad. Powered by their Jude Law drummer lookalike and the floaty vocals of singer, Ruth Radelet, their sound is atmospheric and disco, pretty much the opposite of HEALTH. Okay, that's a lie, HEALTH have atmosphere but they clearly aren't disco, that's why the made a DISCO album obviously.

Chromatics are clearly striving for a specific sound and style, and when it comes off, it is really life-affirming in a very eighties kind of way. They finished their set with I Want Your Love, which built up and up beautifully forcing a smile on the face of every crowd member before closing with their Kate Bush cover, Running Up That Hill. It sticks in your head for about a week afterwards.

Chromatics - I Want Your Love
visit their myspace///buy from Night Drive from Pure Groove