Sunday, 20 October 2013

Sieur et Dame - Amour et Papouasie

When I begin my annual rundown of the best albums of the year next month, I'll have a tougher task than ever, so excellent a year 2013 has been.  This is partly, though not fully, because about half a dozen labels in particular have been prolific not so much in the number of releases they've put out but in the astonishing level of quality they've maintained.  Kythibong is one of those labels and, with Amour et Papouasie, they've done it again.

In fact, this is probably my favourite Kythibong release of all.  Sieur et Dame weave together the classical and the contemporary, the earnest and the playful in a bewitching manner that messes with listeners' minds just as much as it engages and fascinates.  Consider as an example 'Terrible', a tune that creeps around your brain, with the duo's dual vocals combining the sub-operatic and the near-spoken to leave an imprint on your mind that's far removed from what normally floats my boat, but easily as intoxicating for all that.  Or take the carnivalesque brilliance of 'Torride', which spirals to a frantic finale only to rest
finally on a few sparse piano notes, or the pummeling, upbeat 'Ours Molaire'.  There's plenty more besides: all ten tracks have a kind of unique and perversely enigmatic quality that allows them to inhabit roughly the same fascinating territory and yet stand out by themselves.

This is music for the soul and it transports me to places that few releases this year, for all the many good ones there have been, have taken me.   In my October Dandelion Radio show, I've chosen to play the album opener 'Chalheur Malheur', partly because it suffuses so majestically pretty much all of the album's many intoxicating elements and partly because its appropriation of 'Frere Jacques' is a piece of impudent brilliance that both moves and, yes, entertains me every time I hear it.

Get the album here

No comments:

Post a Comment