Sebkha-Chott — De la Persistance de la Mythologie Chottienne en ??? Vélos
(Musea FGBG-4812, 2003/2009, CD)
Sebkha-Chott — Nigla[h] - Tapisseries Fines en XXX Scripts et LXX/X Trompettes
(Musea FGBG-4811, 2008, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2010-01-01
Sebkha-Chott is a band of wild and crazy young French musicians playing music that is so bizarre and unclassifiable that I do not know where to begin. I reviewed their second release Nagah-Mahdi back in 2006 and these two new releases (one is actually a reissue) are more of the same. De la Persistance was originally issued in 2003 with the word Sept in place of the ??? in the title. This reissue is re-recorded, remixed, and remastered. Whereas the original release contained seven tracks, the new issue contains, get this, 54 tracks! I think that the first 48 tracks all belong to the first song "49 – Bienvenue à Babylone" or "Welcome to Babylon" in English. Each of these 48 tracks is about 5 or 6 seconds in duration and the song itself sounds like multiple messages in French from a telephone answering machine. I do not know why they sliced and diced this song, but if you play the CD in shuffle mode you can get a real mishmash of sound bites that drives home the Tower of Babel and confusion of languages concept of the title. The other six tracks are a set of rather intense progressive rock, jazz, heavy metal, hip hop, and electronic music. There are two tracks with the same name "51 – Le Cirque des Enfers" and "55 – Le Cirque des Enfers." Despite the same title, the music is entirely different and I much prefer the "55" version with its familiar funeral music opening. Sebkha-Chott label their music Mekanik Metal Disco and I actually like this first release as it is quite listenable.
On the other hand, they seem to be getting weirder and more pretentious over time. Nagah-Mahdi was a bit hard to digest in one sitting. And so is Nigla[h]. For some reason, this disc contains a phenomenal 72 tracks! What adds to the confusion is that all 72 have names and there is no real way of telling which are new songs or merely continuations or parts of other songs. All of the tracks flow smoothly from one to another, be it seconds in duration or minutes. Once again Sebkha-Chott play piano, keys, violins, fuzzed guitars, sax, percussion, and guttural vocals to create their frenetic blend of heavy metal, klezmer, jazz, progressive music that touches on King Crimson, Magma, Zappa, Der Plan, and Urban Sax. This is definitely a release best taken in small doses. I really cannot imagine that these guys have a wide audience, but if you like to experience something completely different, you may want to check out Sebkha-Chott.
Related artist(s): Sebkha-Chott
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more