The Phoenix –  Pas Musique (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Pas Musique seem to revel in confusion, in a good way of course. Even within their chosen electro-industrial sphere they seem more mercurial, more wilfully tricksy, more difficult to grasp than their contemporaries and you have to look back to the early art-attacks of the likes of Throbbing Gristle to find their parallel. The Phoenix is the musical equivalent of abstract art where clashes and contradiction are all part of the process and the fact that it is open to interpretation or possibly that it may have no obvious, direct purpose is sort of the whole point.

A Finnish Bedtime Story builds with an intensity and claustrophobia, layer upon layer, one sonic texture grating and colliding with the next, just enough structure to impart a beat, a strange rhythm and hints of melody to keep it on the right side of the song/noise divide. The title track…well, sort of doesn’t and sounds like an abandoned car plant having a bad dream. But not all music exists to make you want to dance and this grooves in a strange, existential way, even making you think about what music is and where it even starts and finishes.

Ancient Culture in a Warp Drive is the closing credit music to a deep space horror movie and Xialo is a driving and heart pounding take on ketamine-flavoured disco music. I’m not even sure what that means either! 

Pas Musique inhabit a strange world, one where soundtracks and dance music, industrial white noise, spoken word samples and free-form experimentation, warped groove and intense repetitious musical weight are all forced into a sonic blender. The result? Well, who knows what it is but isn’t the fun of art sometimes not understanding it but enjoying it anyway? Okay, maybe not enjoy, perhaps contemplate is a better word. Metaphysical, futuristic disco dirges anyone?

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