La République Démocratique Du Zoo (2021)
La Boîte à Malice / Degelite
France continues to be a great forge of R.I.O. proposals (and it can’t be otherwise, given the school that started with Etron Fou Leloublan, continued with Art Zoyd and ended with JackDupon and the artists of the Dur et Doux label, just to name a few). But JackDupon is certainly not new to the “family” and La République Démocratique Du Zoo is simply a confirmation of their “different” art.
And La République Démocratique Du Zoo, first of all, celebrates the band’s three lustrums of activity, a new chapter (the seventh studio album) of an over-the-top project featuring Gregory Pozzoli (guitar, vocals), Philippe Prebet (guitar, vocals), Thomas Larsen (drums, vocals) and Arnaud M’Doihoma (bass, vocals).
Even in this new work, the “in opposition” nature of what, as the band itself claims, is the most crazy non-commercial band Rock In Opposition band in existence, never fails. Polyrhythms and schizophrenia, intricate bass lines and drumming with no fixed points, inextricable guitar twists and delirious vocals, JackDupon advances like a train without obstacles, not caring about anything or anyone.
If we want to refer to the words of the four musicians, this is (among many) La République Démocratique Du Zoo: A futuristic baby’s musical prescription. Double sided trampoline, LRDDZ is a giant lemur contained in an electric egg. Five sleepwalking onomatopoeias, crosswords shouted over a slow, sandy storm. A blur before going to bed, curtains for a good sleep and salted candies used as toothpaste […]. This album is the emblem of music for reptilian-neanderthal brains, a tangle of ease, bad smells, and audacity freely traversed by chickens, bunches of goats and nonchalant sheep. Is it all clear?
And the artwork could only be calibrated to the proposal: a work (created by SuperDétergent) intricate, oneiric, disquieting, almost disturbing, made not for the album but considered perfect (and it is) by the band for the occasion.
A tangible tension, nearly terror, greets us in Muté, the album’s opening track. A black and alienating atmosphere that steadily grows amidst sinister sounds and doesn’t dissolve at all with the entry of altered voices. What follows is an unbalanced and estranging pace, characteristics in which JackDupon excel, a delirious vortex fully R.I.O. (a little bit like Le Gran Sbam), with pachydermic sorties into doom (read in JackDupon key).
Guitars played angrily, jittery voices, “troubled” rhythms, more than a pinch of The Residents madness: here is served the Niout dish, which then, not satisfied, flows into a psychedelic and hypnotic hallucination.
Dark and full of tension Ludus in its twisted crescendo of distortions and rhythms, and with the lopsided singing to embellish the picture. And the frenzy becomes more and more palpable as the seconds go by, with unsettled guitars, bordering on delirium, a nervous bass and disturbing vocals. And further on everything becomes even more aggressive, almost Tool-like, a compact wall of sound devastating (even for the nerves).
A vehement, impetuous and out of the ordinary start for Taureau, before staging a new uncontrolled performance, a walk arm in arm between guitar and bass that explodes with the entry of the voice and the violence of the drum hits. And the song is always at very high speed, very tense, with the lacerating guitars of Pozzoli and Prebet constantly in the foreground, “collapsing” temporarily only after four minutes and then continuing with a lysergic crescendo, a bit Einstürzende Neubauten. And then the episode proceeds in the general silence, for a very long time, about twenty-five minutes, and you are waiting for a ghost track… You are sure it is coming, you almost feel it but… it will never come.
At the opening of Garagiste, JackDupon throws a “tightly meshed” net made of guitar strands excellently intertwined with bass and drums. And after adding a sweeter spice to the recipe, he goes back to mocking the listener with an almost Caribbean rhythm on which restless guitars, unorthodox rhythms and the usual alienating singing move smoothly, until reaching the next hypnotic whirlpool (more than one, actually).
An album to live on edge.