Review by Pall ‘Nattsol’ Zarutskiy (Grave Jibes fanzine)
There are some bands or projects which are ‘not for everyone’ and won’t be understood after the first listening. ‘The Debut’ of ‘Guitare Noire’, the new project of Chris Pelle (the found member of the punk band ‘Soup Toxic’) can be exactly considered as the one of that kind.
Enough to say for a start that Chris chose to make the limited edition of 100 copies 10 inches vinyl and it made this work a pearl for collectors. ‘The Debut’ was released by Chris’s own label ‘Walked in Line’ (I think, this name will cause some associations to every postpunk fan) with the support of Red Elodia Records.
The vinyl consists of 6 tracks, every of which lasts for about two minutes. Every song has a difference in comparison with others, but each of them has acoustic and quite minimal basis. The first song of the release, called ‘Carnival’, strongly reminds (or it’s better to say, seems the child of) ‘The Three Shadows Part II’ of ‘Bauhaus’ by the music and by the atmosphere.
The song seems more like a piece of a composition, and it really attracts in this situation. It appears from nowhere and fades.
The voice like from old radio and some ‘trembling’ guitar additions make it seems like a vision of the past, an old orange photo of a carnival. Very strong picture. The next composition is the guitar reprise called ‘Alone’. The name of the song clearly reflects the mood of the song. The theme discovers in music through repeating guitar piece with some additions like the hand bells. The one basis with different shades. Then a listener can discover the cover of ‘Kraftwerk’ song, called ‘Les Mannequins’. The melody is not as mechanical as we can see in the original, and using female vocals seems the good idea, but it has no that passion as took its place in the original version. But ‘Les Mannequins’ keeps its ‘lifeless’ spirit. The next composition ‘Dans Ma Rue Il Y A Un Tigre’ is the variation on an extract of a Daniil Kharms’s poem. Kharms was one of the greatest representatives of probably the most weird Russian avant-garde art movement of the beginning of the XX century, OBERIU (Union of Real Art). Very often the representatives of this movement mixed in their works children’s naivety and tragic elements, so child’s voice (Chris’s daughter) and melancholic music probably reflects the soul of OBERIU, especially if remember that most of it’s representatives had very tragic destinies. The next song of the release, titled ‘Carrousel Melodica’ continues the atmosphere of the previous composition, but in a bit swelling manner. And the last composition of the release is ‘M.’. Melancholic guitar is combined with very ‘rainy’ keyboards. The best outro for the release with the atmosphere of solitude and distance. If a one asked me to refer ‘Guitare Noire’ to any style, I’d call it ‘weird coldwave’. There’s the exact influence of Chris’s native scene, but it’s absolutely impossible to call ‘Guitare Noire’ 100% post-punk/new wave project. Anyway, let’s watch for the project development and see what kind of music it will present us in the future.