I had never listened to Pas Musique until the press kit for their album Amateur Radio landed in my inbox. I listened to it while I worked on a diorama that I was creating. The album sounded good. It actually caused me to pause at numerous points in the album to shift my focus to the music. The diorama teaches me the beauty of patience.
I often check out a band’s back catalogue, so I get a feel of where they are coming from and how they have grown and matured, although that seems to be an option for too many artists. Apple Music only had four Pas Musique albums, including Amateur Radio. Bandcamp had 29, I don’t have the drive to listen to all of their catalogue, so I focused on just this one, Amateur Radio.
Where to begin is a tough call on this recording. This band of musical talent hail from Brooklyn, and I think I’ll start with a video. A trippy audio-visual treat that featured the fourth track from the recording, ‘Ancient Scottish Legend.’ The video has a jerky camera effect frequently used in harrowing movie scenes. Add a grainy, dark quality, and we have the video that sets the stage for the album.
The track before this, number three by my reckoning, is It’s a Rainy Day, Sunshine Girl. This track is a cover of a song by Faust featured on their album So Far, the track was initially conceived in 2019 for the ‘KRAUT! Covered’ compilation curated by WFMU’s DJ Scott Williams. It is worth mentioning that Jeanne-Marie Varain, artist and daughter of Jean-Herve Peron of FAUST, also collaborated on the song, It’s a Rainy Day, Sunshine Girl.
So we have a framework that should give us an idea of where Pas Musique is coming from and a glimmer of where they are going. Both of the tracks mentioned above are over six minutes of listening time, typical for Pas Musique. These guys know how to grab a riff and work it over with their synthesized enhanced musique concrète.
Charlies Lament is the opening track, where they build a groove keep its momentum working through the rarefied air of six unique songs that clock out at 41 minutes total for the album. There are layers and layers of sound, and I am thrilled to find new gems with each listen, so excuse me please, I have to go and listen to Amateur Radio again.
Be sure to check out their merch at https://www.pasmusique.net/releasesstore.html
As of September 15, ‘Don Cheadle Superhero’ will be available via Bandcamp. On October 1, the ‘Amateur Radio’ LP will be released everywhere, including Spotify and Apple Music. It can be pre-ordered on limited-edition white vinyl or a digital download at https://alrealonmusique.bandcamp.com.