Unworks & Rarities 2012-15
This is the volume one of Unworks & Rarities, a new series compiling unreleased and miscellaneous pieces by Oiseaux-Tempête. Following their two acclaimed first albums on Sub Rosa (Ütopiya?, 2015 (SR 396CD, SR 396LP) & Oiseaux-Tempête, 2013 (SR 381CD, SR 381LP)), Unworks & Rarities is putting up more than a collection of outtakes. Since 2012, French "free-rockers" Oiseaux-Tempête have been making instrumental and experimental rock that's heavy, provocative, and in no way intended for just a casual listen. The band, formed in Paris, is the core duo Frédéric D. Oberland & Stéphane Pigneul beside drummers Sylvain Joasson, Ben McConnell & Jean-Michel Pirès. Their music was initially made alongside photographer Stéphane C. in order to document the existential conflict caused by the political and economic upheavals in Greece. For Ütopiya? the travels moved to Istanbul and Sicily, the group expanded with the addition of G.W. Sok (The Ex's former vocalist) narrating Nazim Hikmet's poems and Gareth Davis on bass clarinet, providing the food for its urgent energy and indomitable drive; still free, more punk, pursuing their sonic odyssey around the Mediterranean Sea. Including the same previous guests, Unworks & Rarities features also unreleased cosmic sessions with ondes martenot's virtuoso Christine Ott. More than mere music, the heft behind this project translates directly into the sound. It's not always dark and brooding, but it's definitely always potent. The landscapes they create through their soundscapes are always rich, stirring, full of color and texture, and entirely cinematic. What's more, and what's most important, is that it feels so human. Using, at times, audio realia from the times of turmoil, the sounds and the music work together to shine a light and lift heads towards it. Commanding more than just your ears, from guts to gray matter, Oiseaux-Tempête will hijack your insides. Pushing new boundaries, this opus crystallizes precious moments of sonic bloom, from ambient soundscapes to free-noise and krautrock inflected improvisation.