Wednesday, June 4, 2008


We often forget to evoke the originality of the French dub scene which, contrary to its English and Jamaican sisters, immediately privileged live music (real instruments progressively mixed with sequencing keyboards) over studio tricks.
For Kaly Live Dub, as their name says, live music is a second nature, giving free way to their taste for new experimenting, as well as their total artistic freedom and their talent in improvisation. So it’s on stage that the group first built a solid reputation before tackling a genuine technological revolution in the last uproars of the 20th century (mainly through the usage of samplers), and offering us a few masterpieces of their own. Thus, after three remarkable albums (Electric Kool Aid in 2000, Hydrophonic in 2002 et Répercussions released by PIAS in 2005), the group really took off, multiplying concerts and original collaborations. They wrote an album together with their cousins and next-door neighbours High Tone (Kaltone, Jarring Effects, 2004) and tried out on stage all sorts of sound entanglements with the trip-jazz-hop-er Erik Truffaz!
It shows how mature this collective has now become, enriching their music from side roads, and taking to the letter (and to the note) the crossbreeding of nowadays amplified musics. It hasn’t been that long though, since Kaly fed on Lee Perry and King Tubby and started trying out reggae roots on the Croix Rousse slopes of Lyon. Faithful to its roots, the group since used dub as a solid foundation, both rhythmical and intellectual, giving free way to their imagination and all sorts of sound experiments, made possible thanks to the use of infernal machines. Avoiding media collar shackles, KLD’s music has of course a definite dub feeling about it; but it’s also dark and electronic, noise and urban, psychedelic even, but essentially excessive!
So no, the five Kaly-men are not the nth hellions of daddy’s festive ska-reggae... which will not prevent them from literally blowing your mind away next time you see them On Stage, title of this live CD/DVD that was released last year and that sums up perfectly the scenic year just gone by.
Strengthened by their multiple experiences and their taste for opposition, the quintet delivers today a major album (Fragments, Pias) that teases electro dub noise on the dark side of the force. Custom-tailored by the ineffable Fred Norguet (Pole Nord studio in Blois), this 4th opus by Kaly Live Dub invites you on an intergalactic sound trip, combining sound effects from elsewhere and nearly transcendental atmospheres to sometimes technoid in-your-face sequences. No need for, let’s say, intoxicating products… to find yourself satellised on a Star Wars orbit of which only the Kaly-men know the destiny. Here a violin, there a hybrid voice or a hypnotic guitar, will know how to take you back, in time, to the Fragments of the blue planet.
Fragments and diverse Horizons, just as the sources of Kaly Live Dub’s music, and just as the future which is opening in front of them today, still direct live.
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