Atelier Méditerranée in Still Single

Members of Cheveu organized this recording with a group of mentally handicapped children, but before you can say Reynols (oh, go ahead and say it anyway), the end result of placing these kids in front of synthesizers and microphones precipitates an avant-garde tonic as bracing as you can hope. “Méditerranée” is like a high tension line snapped loose and whipping around the proximity, a bramble of guitar delay, percussion both live and digital, swarming keyboards, a high pressure atmosphere of effects, and a choir of shapeless, menacing voices. “Flunch” starts off with the ring of a synthesizer and some curious French vocalizing, but soon dissipates in a haze of industrial key pound and tantrum-like excess. “Artena” closes the record with droning, bent church organs that quickly lose their very form against vocals from the group and a communal, agitated descent down the drain hole of drone and irrational, spontaneous musicianship. I wish more singles that came through here were as interesting as this one, and credit must be passed – again – to labels like Bruit-Direct, who have never chosen the smoother path as to what they release to the world. Outstanding, densely (dis)organized music for enthusiasts of LIFE itself. (Doug Mosurock)

Atelier Méditerranée:
Not exactly sure why some messy splatters of electro-junk are so much more palatable than others, but this wacky single by France’s Atelier Méditerranée (who appear to be more of a “workshop” for kids than an actual musical group) is the type of freakout I heartily enjoy.

La Ligne Claire:
It’s slow-moving, off-key and gracious, like a drunk relative trying to pretend they aren’t as they stumble toward the fridge. I’m reminded of Menstruation Sisters’ quieter moments, Reynols interpreting the Velvet Underground catalog, or The Foams, had they grown up in a barn.

Bruit Direct has been on a roll lately, nicely stocking the “Euro-WTF” racks of any decent record shop.