Tuesday, June 6, 2017

No Noise No Reduction - Au Doux Combat Me Joindre [2017] France

It's a sea of reeds and it takes three masters adept to exploiting all the expressive range saxes have to offer to accomplish a feat as NNNR have. One barytone and two basses do the damage here and they'll have you dancing, cheering and lamenting within a matter of minutes. 

NNNR come from Toulouse in SW France in what is essentially Occitània, a crossroad for one too many a tradition. It really shouldn't strike you as strange to hear ethiopian-styled balkan-like dadaisms alternating with dissonant noisey droney passages and mechanistic grooves. The discipline it took to produce this! But really, NNNR rocks hard.

The power of the sax is such that we'd implicitly require a jazz reference to any brass ensemble but I'm afraid this isn't what's up here. NNNR have something to share with Gilbert Artman's Urban Sax (the Spiral album maybe), Maximalist!, Bise de Buse and Sledě, Živé Sledě. That's not their drummerless presentation but their meditative musique concréte and serialist approach to composition. More importantly though, this ensemble rocks, or it punk rocks. For the last few days I've been listening to the album relentlessly and it finally reached me: if anything and as a common denominator, NNNR continue in the daring industrial post-punk tradition that Cassiber and This Heat set. I also get some hints from X-Legged Sally and Blast but I know that's just me. How about some Look de Bouk and Toupidek Limonade references (Hellebore too? hmm)? Dammit I know I'm over the top.

All the aural suggestions and connections I've offered here only have to do with how I perceived the whole thing. They do not attempt to explain NNNR's uniquely artistic nature and contribution, rather than give some guidelines that I'm comfortable with. Anyhoo, the spirit of the true creatives is very much alive with this release.

Another serious contender for album of the year 2017.


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