Paul BissQuelques coups de téléphone
March 22 2016
France, Italy, GAS, SP/PT
2. La photo de famille
3. Biss Manipulation
4. Quelques coups de téléphone
5. Amours assassines
7. Les automates vivants
8. Rendez-vous au paradis
11. Mister Nobody
12. Kangourou remix
ABOUT THE RELEASE
Paul Biss was born on August 8th, 2008.
Or at least the incarnation of Belgian pop’s newest and most inscrutable electro dandy came into being on that date. 240 years after the birth of Beau Brummel and a month before the collapse of Lehman Brothers, Paul Biss emerged fully formed, singing to the woman he was hoping to marry, stood by the poolside of a Greek island resort on a baking August afternoon. You’ll be pleased to know she said “yes”, but more importantly, Paul Biss was born.
That was the day that Paul Biss found his voice. His poetic esprit was unleashed. That day he answered his true calling.
Quelques coups de téléphone is the culmination of that day. It means ‘a few phone calls’ in French, because life can sometimes be reduced to a few phone calls announcing events which can impact your life forever. We must all be ready to await the call, because it can come at you any time: in the queue at the supermarket, whilst sat reading Private Eye on the toilet or while proposing to your future wife on an isle in the middle of the Aegean Sea. Thank God Paul Biss answered that call.
The cult of Paul Biss grew quickly when in 2010, at just two years old, he took to the stage to disseminate his powerful poetic message whilst dressed to kill. But acclaim in the live arena as a chicly attired cerebral genius wasn’t enough. Paul Biss enlisted the help of Dan Lacksman, electronic music specialist and former member of seminal Belgian synthpop outfit Telex, as well as talented sound engineer Elsa Grelot, who brought contemporary nous to the team. Between them they crafted an album of retrofuturist innovation at the SynSound Studios in Laeken, a northern district of Brussels.
Quelques coups de téléphone is brimming with critical communication set to song. ‘Kangourou’ leaps out of the speakers like the animal of the same name, a musical marsupial carrying with it some of the finest drum machine handclaps this side of Yan Hammer. ‘La Photo de famille’ and ‘Amour assassines’ are moodier morceaux that bring French flavour to old skool hip hop accompaniment. ‘Manipulation’ conflates the early electro stylings of Depeche Mode with a disaffected post punk spirit, while ‘Lampedusa’ is a gorgeous new wave synthpop ballad that would have given Berlin a run for their money in 1986. And then there’s the title track itself, which somehow mixes a smooth jazz waltz with an undercurrent of dub, or ‘Delivrance’, which pairs dark ambience with a chorus you’ll be singing around the house for days. ‘Les Automates Vivants’ meanwhile sounds like how the kids in the 1980s thought the future might sound if they weren’t all vapourised by the atomic bomb. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose…
‘Mister Nobody’ – the only chanson part sung in English – finishes Quelques coups de téléphone off in style (before a coruscating remix of ‘Kangourou’). ‘Mister Nobody’ is a meditative and thought-provoking denouement to an album that takes you places, paradoxically performed by an artist who is an anachronistic caricature of manhood and is yet but nine years old. This is a record that is the apotheosis of one fine afternoon in 2008 when a decent proposal emanated from the mouth of a man deeply in love. Paul Biss answered the call and things have never been quite the same again.
Quelques coups de téléphone – released by Belgian baroque pop specialists Freaksville – is the product of all the subsequent work that has gone into the making of a classic debut album since that fateful August afternoon. It is the soundtrack to Paul Biss’ short life thus far. It will make you laugh. It will make you cry. But most importantly, it will make you dance.