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Hifiklub + Roddy Bottum - Things That Were Lost in the Fire review (2020)

Hifiklub are undoubtedly one of the most productive groups that I have come to known. In the short lifespan of this humble blog, they are the first act that has been featured twice with a new release within the same year! Having a look at their vast and undoubtedly impressive catalogue, one can find no less than 150 collaborations with artists as different and diverse like : Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth), Alain Johannes (Queens of the Stone Age, Them Crooked Vultures, Eleven), Matt Cameron (Pearl Jam, Soundgarden), The Legendary Tigerman, Jad Fair (Half Japanese), Jean-Marc Montera, R. Stevie Moore, André Jaume, Mike Watt (Minutemen, The Stooges), Fatso Jetson, Jérôme Casalonga, Lula Pena, Scanner, Jean-Michel Bossini, Mike Cooper, Eugene Chadbourne, Duke Garwood. Really impressive, don't you think ?

This time, the French trio comprising of :

Pascal Abbatucci Julien – drums, percussion

Jean-Loup Faurat – guitar, effects

Régis Laugier – bass, vocals

collaborates with Roddy Bottum of Faith No More fame (of course). Having initially met by chance in New York City, when Hifikulb were working alongside Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth) on their album and film In Doubt, Shadow Him!, it was only a few months later before they got together with Bottum again to compose a single for a project as a tribute to American poetess Emily Dickinson. This first musical collaboration inspired both parties to embark together on a more extended project. After a handful of rehearsals, Hifiklub poured their impulsive desire to create the rhythmic and melodic foundations of nine original songs, plus a unique cover of “Eye of the Tiger”(Survivor). In a single day session, they recorded these instrumental compositions in the basement of an old, dingy nightclub. A transatlantic flight later, Roddy Bottum found himself on the French Riviera, in Saint-Aygulf to be precise. Caught in the spontaneous flow of the recorded tracks, the Faith No More keyboardist wrote new arrangements and texts for the songs.

Listening to Things That Were Lost in the Fire one will firstly identify a dark and melancholic character. The inclusion of Jazz, Funk, Ethnic and Electronic elements makes the overall result more "pop" oriented and "accessible" for the average listener reminiscing (at least to my ears) the songwriting of Leonard Cohen. Personally without diminishing the virtues of Things That Were Lost in the Fire I would rather place Rupture (their other album that I had the privilege to listen and present this year) one scale higher.

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