EN / FR
Following our last mixtape,
“The Voices in My Head”, focusing on
Johannesburg’s underground jazz scene,
PARISSOWETO have teamed up with
the crazy bunch at DUR ET DOUX,
a music collective based in Lyon, France.
They have put together a mixtape that
tells the tale of how a cry of stray notes
and a muttering of off-beats
spawned a family of music industry
DUR ET DOUX consists of a handful of irreverent souls who operate somewhere between nirvana and the gates of hell, dedicating their lives to the dissonant and deranged genius of Lyon’s finest noise, free jazz, punk and stoner bands, including CHROMB, Brice et Sa Pute, PoiL, Ni and Ukandanz… This is the soundtrack to their parallel universe. We caught up with Clément, one of the founding members, to find out more about his collective and the bands featured on the mixtape.
PARISSOWETO: Hello! What would you call this mixtape? Could you describe it in a few words?
DUR ET DOUX : Hello. The mixtape could be called Thick Slice of Indigestible Meat for Wild Bulimics or Perception Through the Hole in the Music Business / It Will Never Work. In a few words, this mixtape is long and wonderful; it’s both rough and soothing (editor’s note: “dur et doux” in French) and will appease and disrupt your sweet puritanical dolphin-karma. Come on, you have two hours of the latest French music in front of you! Let the dogs out, run yourself a bath, have a pint of rum, eat some acid and let yourself go. If you get to the end and you are still buzzing, you can start over. It’s alright, everything is going to be okay!
Could you tell us a little bit more about the Dur et Doux team? Who does what, and how you do operate? How do you go about discovering artists and promoting them?
Dur et Doux is essentially a home for orphaned rock bands, featuring a moral person with a bank account and an entertainment licence, a president, a treasurer, a group of friends. Since 2008, Dur et Doux has slowly but surely mutated into a music collective bringing together over fifteen musical outfits in Lyon and the surrounding area, with one idea in mind: “It will never work, but let’s do this together, let’s head straight for a wall!” In other words, “Bonzai!” or “かめはめ波 ! (Kam é Hamé Ha !)”
Dur et Doux is above all a bunch of musicians who share their means of production and communication; it’s a swarming nest of improbable projects that are under-represented (or not represented at all) in the music business. Since late 2010, Clément (that’s me) has been taking care of all the red tape (contracts, bookings, funding, advertising, PR, production….) Since 2015, Adrien has been in charge of admin. This year, Julius joined the team and has taken over the bookings. We also work with five incredible sound/light/all-purpose engineers.
Finding bands happens quite naturally, usually it’s a case of love at first sight. Lyon’s music scene is a very hyperactive one and we’re literally swimming in all of it. Every year we see two or three new projects arise that we rather naturally end up managing.
How would you describe the music scene represented in this mixtape to our South African audience?
It’s a wild, innovative and hyperactive scene, as much in terms of the gigs as the album releases. As for Dur et Doux, we tend towards music that is “trans-genre”; we dance a little bit around rock without getting caught up in it; the music is innovative or avant-garde, but we don’t give a damn about that, it’s all about the music!
There isn’t really an infrastructure in South Africa for this kind of music, and bands have a hard time booking shows and touring. So, to put things into perspective, how many tours are you working on at this moment?
There aren’t really that many structures that represent this kind of music in France either (refer to “It Will Never Work!” above). At the same time, it makes sense, because it’s complicated to generate an income by promoting this kind of music. It’s an endless investment and even an abyss that no commercial structure would ever willingly step into. But it’s worth it. We see all kinds of new organisations popping up, mostly collectives working in a similar manner to Dur et Doux, which means they cover everything from album releases to bookings.
At the moment, we are actively booking tours for 2016 and 2017 for almost the entire collective and we are also working on five album releases, of which you can hear some tracks on the mixtape.
Lastly, can you tell us a little bit more about some of the bands featured on the mixtape? Which bands are you particularly excited about or proud of?
For this mixtape we decided to feature a track of each of the collective’s running projects; it would’ve been too hard to leave one out! So the choices are based on a shared affinity, and we also set out to select tracks from recent releases only. It would have been strange to compile a mixtape of old stuff. We added some excellent new revelations of early 2016, in order to fill our “chanson française” (French music) quota, because we were a bit short: this includes Mauvaise Vibes by Gros Oiseau as well as Amour Fou, a splendid R’n’B duo who make bad taste seem good.
We kicked off the mixtape with a project that we’re very proud of, or I am at least! The track, “Fionosphère” by PoiL, is taken from Brossaklit, an hour-long, intense and twisted album. It’s a sonic journey that you may never return from, or at the very least, won’t come back from unmoved, and the visuals of Lila Mala fit the music like a glove. The double LP came out on gatefold vinyl; I think we were completely unaware of the financial throes it was going to entail when we launched this project. PoiL is a bold, unclassifiable trio (keyboards/drums/bass & guitar). The songs roam somewhere between Indonesian ensemble music, a truck roaring full-speed on Route 66 and goggle-eyed otaku tournament players at a games arcade on the seventh floor of a building somewhere in Akihabara.
I remember spending a day with them during a rehearsal in their drummer Guilhem’s cellar at Saint-Romain-de-Popey in December 2013. A month before the recording began, the guys were down in the cellar working ‘autistically’ on two bars for days on end at 12°C inside. I told myself once more that it would never work.
The second track is a song by the trio Herr Geisha & The Boobs (two guitars and drums), taken from their album released in 2014, and is meant to wind you down. It made me weep a couple of times and has its rightful place on this mixtape. In anyway, we couldn’t feature a track from their most recent album (Book of Mutations) because it’s a concept-album consisting of one 50-minute long song (which I recommend very highly!)
It might seem a little linear, but I’m going to talk about the third track next: “Torfesor” by Ni, taken from Les Insurgés de Romilly, released a year ago. It’s another wonderful gatefold LP designed by Jacques Deal (#itwillneverwork). Ni’s performances are a roundhouse kick to the jugular, and they are without a doubt one of the collective’s finest live acts, alongside their stooges, PoiL (with whom they tour very often and have put together the carnal supergroup PinioL). The four-piece (bass, guitars, drums) confound their audiences with their heavy, sharp bass grooves bathing in feedback, while their polyrhythms are akin to Mongolian dancing and Scandinavian headbanging.
Alright, so now we’re skipping ahead to the fifth track, “Suis-je assez pauvre?” (“Am I poor enough?”) by Brice et sa pute, taken from their recently released EP, Célibataires. Brice et Sa Pute is a singular duo roaming a bit further astray from music in the strictest sense, branching out to an undefined genre that mixes minimalist punk with theatre performance. Brice et Sa Pute started it all; they are the teat that offered its fermented milk to all the little stuffed animals in the Dur et Doux clan, they are the why and the how, the chicken and the egg. Basically, if it doesn’t appeal to you, you missed the point! They recorded this track, mid-hungover and out of breath, after a long night of debaucherous fun last summer. The result is raw and untameable. To our French listeners: this one is for you!
Et paf ! We’re jumping a few tracks ahead to “L’âne rouge” by L’Effondras, which was released on their debut album a little over a year ago. It’s another fat slice of syrupy drone music. (I apologise, dear listener, but radio standards are not our thing… If you do manage to get to the end of this two-hour long mixtape, you have earned a cookie in the shape of a looney bin and a good kick up the arse. Now it’s time for a bedtime story! But let’s not digress…) The L’Effondras trio joined the collective through Ni, with whom they share a drummer, and as with all our projects, it only took one musician and an instant crush to lead them straight into our arms. Being quite a fan of heavy, lingering drone rock, I was quickly seduced by L’Effondras. Their songs are long, slow and piercing; these are marvellous soundscapes that may conjure up different images for each and everyone, creating an atmosphere into which you can let your mind wander off…
Of course, it goes without saying, it’s extremely difficult to single out only a few of the bands working with Dur et Doux. We love them all to bits and I am very proud of the latest releases, whether it be Ukandanz, L’Effondras or Herr Geisha.
/ ♥ END
† THE COMPLETE TRACKLIST †
- PoiL – Fionosphere
- Herr Geisha & the Boobs – Shadows
- Ni – Torfesfor
- Des Lalles – Twist2
- Brice et sa pute – Suis-je assez pauvre ?
- Icsis – Tigre
- Mercy – Animals
- Jihad – Drone
- Saint Sadrill – Tree
- Amour Fou – Anarcho parade in Italia
- Vil Francois – Les couleurs du café
- L’Effondras – L’Anne Rouge
- Ukandanz – Sewotch men Yelalu
- Gros Oiseau – Mauvaise Vibes
- Viles Imbecile – When Cupid Fuck
- Pili Coit – Holy House
- Sheezaheee – Snooze
- Pig Rider – Dry und wunderbar sound
- Chromb – Maloyeuk
∇ BONUS TRACKS ∇
- La Degustacion – ¿Como te llamas?
- Gwyn Wurst – Impro Bzez