The Other Colors – 361

The Other Colors - 361

CD, LAC Records, 2008
www.theothercolors.com

I was first introduced to French electropop artists Laurent Chambert and Marie Möör’s music through their previous project Rose Et Noire. While there are obvious similarities between Rose Et Noire and their newest incarnation, The Other Colors, the sultry cabaret aesthetic of their previous album has been replaced, or rather expanded, with a much more varied spectrum of expression. Marie, first of all, covers a wide range of vocal styles from spoken word and heavily processed vocoding, to almost ethereal singing and chanting.
Throughout the title track, “Les Autres Couleurs”, discordant and disharmonic high pitched glitches of electro-acoustic sounds and noises are strung together and made coherent by the underlying, rolling, massively built up heavy drones that push the song forward. The vocals are the half-sung spoken words of Marie Möör’s beautiful voice, progressively textured and layered and cut up, giving the entire track an eerie feel. The track ends with a sudden release of the tension that’s been building up throughout, and we’re presented with the heavy, no-nonsense electro-rock beat of the second track “Aucune Blessure”. The album then takes a much more melodic turn with the addition of acoustic instruments and Marie singing sweetly with the melancholy “Nous roulons dans les fleurs”, which ends with giving way for the highly danceable and flirtatious playful electropop song “Rendez-vous”. The entire album flows through these different aural expressions, masterfully rendered and arranged by Laurent.
Overall, this is a bold, intelligent and complex album that manages to retain its highly melodic and easily accessible pop music sensibilities throughout. The production is also top-notch, and genre-wise, the album is very difficult to define. While true to the French tradition of 60’s folk-rock inspired electronic music, it contains definite elements of styles ranging from minimal indietronica, big beat, trip hop, post rock, musique concrete and electropop, over to dark ambient and almost deafening noisepop.
In other words, it’s bloody fantastic! “361” is bound to appeal to such wide a range of audiences as fans of bands such as AIR, Björk, Pivot, Portishead, UNKLE, Saint Etienne and even Mogwai. And I hope they do, because there’s so much mainstream potential in this album that The Other Colors really deserve all the attention they can get.

[9/10]

— Jonas Mansoor