COLLECTIF EFFERVESCENCE IS A FINE YOUNG TEAM FROM NANTES WHO’S BEEN DOCUMENTING THE UNDERGROUND FOR ALMOST A DECADE. WITH A ROSTER NOW INCLUDING PAPIER TIGRE, LA TERRE TREMBLE !!!, THE PATRIOTIC SUNDAY, PERCEVALMUSIC, AND MY NAME IS NOBODY AMONG OTHERS, THE COLLECTIVE HAS PICKED UP QUITE A FEW OF THE MOST INTERESTING FRENCH ACTS IN INDIE ROCK TODAY. ALONG WITH 2 OF HIS PROTEGES, MY NAME IS NOBODY, AND OUR PERSONAL FAVORITE LA TERRE TREMBLE !!!, EFFERVESCENCE HEAD JULIEN LOOKS BACK AT 2009 AND UNVEILS SOME OF THE LABEL’S PROJECTS FOR THIS NEW YEAR.
A) Which records released in 2009 do you wish you had released on Collectif Effervescence ?
Effervescence is not the kind of label that is always after THE discovery. This perpetual discovery-game can get very boring and is merely a journalistic pretext. Most artists are actually discovered quite late and have already been recording and touring for a while before they are brought into light. I’d rather keep a close eye on a few selected artists for some time than get all excited on the « new stuff ».
That being said, I think “Merriweather Post Pavilion“ by Animal Collective was a brilliantly exhilarating record. I have played it a lot this year…
On the French scene, Mansfield.Tya’s second album “Seules au bout de 23 secondes“ was striking with sensitivity, and texts so dark they are almost ineffable. And yet they were recorded… I have also been following Dominique A with special care -especially since his album “Remué”- and once again his latest “La Musique” is just another great achievement. Such mastery of the French language in writing is quite rare, even in France. I have nothing against French artists venturing into English – and we are not in the right place to decry it – but if some of them learned how to handle their mother tongue, they might not need to turn away from it. I fear storytelling is getting lost in translation.
I also enjoyed the tense strings in composer Alexandre Desplat’s soundtrack to Jacques Audiard’s “Un Prophète“, and Clues‘ 11 hyper energizing tracks on their Constellation Records self-titled album.
My Name Is Nobody:
Vic Chesnutt “At The Cut” and “Skitter on Take-Off“. Two albums in two-month time. The first, much orchestrated, with the dream team of Guy Picciotto and Silver Mount Zion. The other, produced by Jonathan Richman, more minimalist… He was not in great shape, but still had the same quirky tone and realism that I enjoyed about him. I was very sad on earring about his death on December 25.
Bill Callahan “Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle“. I liked the preceding one, in which he almost sounded happy. He sounds sulkier now, but better than never at songwriting and arranging. We are lucky enough to be playing with him next February, during our tour with our friends Pillars & Tongues.
Lee Fields & The Expression “My World“, I bought it following the advice of my super record dealer in Nantes, and Lee Fields’ soul music is now warming up my home through the winter.
Also, The Jesus Lizard at Villette Sonique in Paris last May was simply the best gig of the year!
La Terre Tremble !!!:
Jim O’Rourke “The Visitor“, in which he visits and reunites the infinitely large and the infinitely small.
Bill Callahan “Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle“, a record with a soul, which is rare.
Hayao Miyazaki “Ponyo On The Cliff By The Sea“. Yeah, we know, it’s a movie… But it is like some sort of harmonic dreams we used to do when we were kids, somewhere between anguish and appeasement. We still do this dream.
B) Which artist(s) you wish you had signed will you keep an ear on in 2010?
We are looking to Battles next release, to Thee, Stranded Horse new full-length album, to Marvin that should inspire many rock bands to come, and to the next Silver Mount Zion as well…
C) What are you the most proud of for Collectif Effervescence in 2009?
Let’s start with our newcomers La Terre Tremble !!! Even though we had already discovered them with their first work, we had lost contact, and crossed path again by chance. I am happy with what they have accomplished this year. “Travail“ has reached out to a new audience, and has allowed them to join in some of the top music festivals in France: “les Transmusicales de Rennes” and “la tournée des Trans”, but also “Musiques Volantes” in Metz, “Nuits d’Hiver” in Marseille, and “SuperSounds” in Colmar… But let’s not misunderstand: they are not a « super festival band ». Quite on the contrary, I think smaller stages bring out the wilderness in their performing.
“Characters“ by The Patriotic Sunday was also a key release this year. Four years after the first album, it was not easy for Eric Pasquereau to come back with a totally different follow up. “Characters” is fully autobiographic and very intimate. Production took almost a year and involved a lot of people from the recording sessions to the final mastering. Eric being also a member of Papier Tigre, and has been very busy touring in the past two years. We had to find the right time to introduce this record to the audience and, we were a bit scared that the production effort would no more sound up-to date… But in the end it was very well received by professionals and new listeners alike, and I’d like to reassure his audience: you will not have to wait for another four years for The Patriotic Sunday’s next release.
We are also very proud of Percevalmusic who collaborated with video and graphic artist Laurent Chomette on “Axes”, a half-sculpture, half-concert installation, a multimedia work that obviously cannot compare with a standard release. It was screened for seven days in a nave of the Castle of the Dukes of Brittany in Nantes, during the Scopitone festival. I find it magic to see an artist you know well under a new light and see his work involved in a new space, approached from a different angle.
D) What are the label’s challenges for 2010?
We’ll start the year with a format on the verge of extinction, namely a vinyl, with 2 songs by My Name Is Nobody, recorded in a few magical takes in Chicago as a souvenir from their major tour in the US where they had been invited by the American trio Pillars & Tongues.
As for all labels, the big challenge will be to ponder the relevance and significance of a full length release nowadays, after all that’s been said on the so-called death sentence of the album as a concept. But in the end, let’s look at things from the bright side. It will be more challenging for artists to gather their work in one big piece so we may be gifted with stronger albums, more generous and exciting.
In 2010 we will release Faustine Seilman’s second LP and possibly The Patriotic Sunday’s third full length, which we were not expecting that early. Stuntman 5’s Akolabuzi remixes are almost ready for a digital EP release. Something new from Papier Tigre maybe, if they take a break away from their endless tour to work on some new material.
We will also try and find the time to build a new website and stop lingering on 2.0 pages…
Previously in our new year’s label interview series: Erased Tapes Records, Bella Union, and Own Records.
Coming next: Clapping Music…