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Journal RSS journal posts · 2024 · 2023 · 2022 · 2021 · {and before that

Manuel Bienvenu


(14tx vinyl 2LP/ 11tx CD, LGSR rec 2015)

 | pall youhideme
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Third LP release for the talented French multi-instrumentalist Manuel Bienvenu: it's almost 8 years since his brilliant Bring Me The Head Of Manuel Bienvenu. It was time.
Successfully crowd-funded, for short coordinates, think of The Whitest Boy Alive and Efterklang, and then, to their addiction to that kind of cotton dance-pop aesthetics of the 70s. I am pretty sure these bands would fully appreciate the path walked by these 14 tracks.
This time his solo project is backed by a 12-piece band, no wonder that added extra slick harmonic rhythmic to his orchestral songwriting impetus. And let me say that no review can fully pay back to what's there behind recording something huge like this.
Churrigueresque and Capital Crowns are exquisitely groove affected. Sensually elegant pop music (as 'pop' term for music should be meant), plus his soulful, warm vocals. 
Two drummers for the rhythmic section. Somber and suave on the bass-driven Bubl, potentially cinematic. I am sure Manuel Bienvenu may write your film's sound score, director.
Later Dark Gardens plays a psychedelic key among the titles of this release, poetically balanced with more direct refrains: after an inspired ascension, the listener falls with both feet into a spiral of synths and fuzzed bass, with a faster drumbeat, fully percussive. Excellent. 
It follows Summers in Submarines, it's time for space lounge pop, slow-paced, enjoy your drink, in full grace of a piano leading the way, gentle electronics, beats and vibraphone: a perfect marmelade Gomelsky.
Seventeen is one more step closer to the end of this bittersweet collection of songs: an instrumental piece of restless, obsessive and emotional cut. It is somehow full of grief and distress. A melancholic ride in and out of its menacing splendor. Last track Café Gitane is a flamboyant jam of snapping retro-futurist pop, funk drums,  transverse flute, spoken-word in French, over 8 minutes of tight melodic celebration.
Fourteen tracks of the same record to be listened may be a challenge nowadays, but Amanuma is a perfect companion for a Sunday morning start. Order your copy here.

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