Au Bordel - Souvenirs de Paris


It happened around the end of August 1998: a few independent spirits secretly gathered in one place, whose name is like a password in circulation: the dismayed instants. For two days and two nights, they instigate a conspiracy, invent group frenzy anew, repeatedly make their way into the state of desire. There we find all kinds of adventurers, born improvisers, changeable crooners, cabaret singers, second-class poets, strippers, somewhat bared waitresses, a few slightly excited friends. They launched into spicy show-off performances or romances stirring one to tears. What is revived there by rediscovering bordel songs and other songs of this type has something to do with the spirit of the cabaret. We are dealing here with a rebellious spirit, a provocateur, a trouble maker. Most modern, aesthetic or political revolutions are partially linked to the spirit of the cabaret, which is not without reason. This closed-off place, in spite of being easily accessible to anyone, allows all excesses, all violations, all shudders.

 

Here it is apparently not a question of trying to overthrow society, but rather of creating an energy, resting under the skin, out of a repertoire that intimately binds up the past, the present and the future, and of bringing a desire, an impatience or an extravagance (again) into play and to help them get (back) on their feet. Which perhaps all amounts to the same thing. The scene is the night, one of those nights in which everything can happen. One joins the circulation of desire and loathing, passion and rejection, et cetera. At work here is the life of the senses, but also the life of the spirit. It is unbelievably serious and absolutely frivolous at the same time, sometimes even a bit derisory. There is a drama, a narrative, a story that tells itself like in a film, in which one goes from sunset to sunrise, as from skin contact to the exchange of fantasies, from the carelessness of limitless exuberance to the immortal oaths of love, from the eternity of the moment of love to the notorious suggestiveness, and also from the utmost fatal attractions to the blackest break-ups. Everything passes by in review here, as in the varietÚ, where anyone can start singing his little song, from the Belle Epoch up to that from Godard or Gainsbourg along a detour through our own age. The shadows of the feverish Germany of the twenties drift past, as do those of the forgotten Paris of the thirties, from Piaf, Marlene, Fa▀binder and Ferre, the shadows of the minor parts of the French cinema, from Francis Blanche or from Bourvil at Mocky. Sensing nothing archaeological, however, but rather the sole necessity of the present moment, a type, the topicality of desire, all this can only be expressed during specific circumstances.

 

This CD is the creation of situations with an orchestra of changing musicians, in which the accordion of Stian Carstensen, the piano of Charlie O., voices of Dom Farkas and Sasha Andres, the soprano [saxophone] of Lol Coxhill, the spirit of NoŰl AkchotÚ all predominate. Far away from the studios, from hygienic obsession and general sham, words, sentences, and melodies live anew, pass and live, telling of a consciousness that is violently ablaze everywhere, as well as of the unbridled laughter of insatiable nights, of the immediacy of sensual impressions and the distance of the feelings, of the symbol of the body convoluted upon itself. Basically, this CD begins with what happens in a good song again and again: emotion in its purest representation. Listen to the title "Obsession d'amour," "Mon homme", "Le MÚpris", or also "Ah les femmes", "Tu me plais", "Falling in Love Again", "Fleur de joie", and you will see that is always the same back and forth, from tragedy to comedy, from the sublime to the parody, again and again, from the whole to nothing, from nothing to the whole, again and again these same belligerent songs, the same laboratory, the same factory of passions. With a word, the great passion.

 

Ś Thierry Jousse


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