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Chamæleo Vulgaris

Jean-Sébastien Mariage : guitare électrique
Frederick Galiay : basse électrique

Presse

“Au total, une musique libre qui convoque par guitares frottées de diverses façons et montages électroacoustiques variés tout un univers de matières sonores où le bruissement de la vie s’entend non comme une mélopée mais comme un recours.”
Philippe Méziat, Jazz Magazine

“This kind of music smells like the future.”
Richard Cochrane, musings

”This is a formidable chunk of sound from the outer edges.”
Robert Spencer

“European avant-garde musicians such as saxophonist Bertrand Denzler and electric guitarist Jean-Sebastien Mariage delve into the sound with some psychotic and flat out wacky electronically produced effects, odd rhythms, eerie vocalizations and surreal passages. This is “delightfully” strange music who toy with our emotions and psyche. Halloween for modernists ? Abstract, crazy – wild... you name it, yet we believe these folks are making a statement on the human condition. If you have a weak heart don’t bother ; otherwise, if you’re mind needs a good cleaning, than this may very well be the brainfood you need ! ”
Glenn Astarita

“Bam ! That uppercut hurt ! Chamaeleo Vulgaris delivers a strenght potion where avant-core meets with free jazz and sonic experimentations. It is with great pleasure that I give this record my strongest recommendation... Chamaeleo Vulgaris was nominated in the category “Best album of the year (10 nominees, the 10 best of 1999)” for the album ‘Ouverture Facile’.”
François Couture, Délire Actuel

“Entre cris et râles, formes mouvantes, déviance assumée, brute pénétration ou chaos destructeur, Chamaeleo Vulgaris déroute. Musique vibratoire, intestine, magnétique, électrique. Entre spasmes et remous. La convulsion comme art suprême, la décharge sonique comme fil conducteur.”
Luc Bouquet, Improjazz
“Their music and inner sleeve artwork would seem to indicate they grew up with the Dead Kennedys and the Butthole Surfers-Gibby wouldn’t sound at all out of place in “Jungfrau”... This is pretty extreme stuff, at times sounding like Naked City’s “Absinthe”, at times like Ground Zero (on a casual listening, Jean-Sébastien Mariage’s guitar could be taken for Otomo Yoshihide)... Not for the faint-hearted.”
Dan Warburton

“Quand on vous enfonce un tournevis dans la cuisse, le dos ou le ventre, et qu’on tourne consciencieusement l’objet au milieu de vos cris éplorés, c’est dans la chair que vous avez le plus mal. Chamaeleo Vulgaris enfonce le clou jusqu’à l’os dans une session de torture sado musicale dont vous êtes la victime.”
Octopus

“Ici, les deux musiciens font preuve d’une remarquable habileté à gérer la douleur musicale et d’une notable volonté à présenter une musique protéiforme qui sait gérer les stridences et les pauses sonores pour rendre la musique plus inattendue et ludique.”
Jérôme Schmidt, artzero

“De ce chaos d’ondes, de cette pagaille de sons, ressortent les influences certaines de Merzbow et de Throbbing Gristle, mais aussi du Zero Tolerance For Nothing de Pat Metheny (présenté comme essentiel par Thurston Moore de Sonic Youth) et de Keiji Haino. Autant dire le futur du rock.”
Marie-Pierre Bonniol, nouvelle vague

“French collective Chamaeleo Vulgaris offer a dark improvised soundscape which never settles in one place for very long. The juxtaposition of free jazz saxophone and percussion with electronics and Borbetomagus-like feedback guitar gives a music rich in detail... They illustrate just what a healthy creative state free jazz and improvised music are in as we move towards the next century.”
Fred Grand, Rubberneck

“Apnée au coeur du son. Hypnose asymétrique. L’air est taillé au microscope, le métal au scalpel. Puis tout bascule vers des matières brutes, des torrents de scories qui s’étirent progressivement pour se transformer en longs filaments. La tension est érodée par les frottements et les impacts. Bribes de timbres, pointillés, espace, respiration. Il ne reste plus que des grésillements, un monde sous-terrain qui grouille, des particules à peine perceptibles qui s’entrechoquent, s’entrecroisent et tissent une toile de plus en plus serrée débouchant sur des trames. A la prochaine rupture, elles seront sculptées, ajourées, attaquées pour se désintégrer définitivement. Un reflet précis du monde. Trituré, pétri, propulsé. Mais apaisant.”
Arjuna Arkos

Since 1993, bassist Frederick Galiay and guitarist Jean-Sebastien Mariage have explored the uses and sounds of their electric instruments and amplifiers in an environment as immediate and natural as possible. As Chamæleo Vulgaris, the duo use minimalism and tone, feedback and resonance, to tell their tale. Recorded in Paris in 2011, live and without effects pedals and with the musicians sitting facing each other along with their amplifiers, "Reset" celebrates the duo’s intimate approach to their instruments, an improvisational interplay in which naturally generated sounds act as a third member. The audience normally would sit around the musicians, creating not only intimacy but other acoustic opportunities.
"Pūjā" opens the eleven song set with humble fanfare. Meditative, sparse and metallic, it announces the environment the duo are creating, without completely showing all their cards.
After such a seemingly passive opening, "Skhêma" announces its single note boldly, and various fitful, agitated gestures, that give the impression of cymbals but are again organic to the instruments and amps.
"Pshat," the longest track at just over thirteen minutes, paces itself through silence with deliberate tones that sound like argumentative birds or dueling wine corks. "Boo Murgel" follows. It is minimal but chaotic and assaultive, an explosion of feedback-and-string-conjured demons.
As an example of the blending of the various ideas explored, "Yoni" is an exercise in sounds, both loud and soft, sustained and muted. "Tabula Rasa" and "Drash" end the set with more silence than sound, more echo than statement, creating a somber but bright hymn-like feel.
"Reset" is not easy listening, but it ought to sound familiar. By building off of natural acoustics and sounds generated by the nearness of their instruments and amps to each other, Chamaeleo Vulgaris merely work with the natural sounds of the spaces they inhabit, however briefly. What music are you missing in your daily routine ?
Mike Wood - Music Emissions




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