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Rose Et Noire – Tracé dans le bleu

Rose Et Noire - Tracé dans le bleu

CD, Discordian Records, 2006

French electronic pop(?) duo Rose et Noire’s second album, “Tracé dans le bleu”, is the first I’ve ever heard of them, and I don’t think I’ve come across anything quite like this ever before.
I was actually put off by the vocals a bit at first. Marie Möör’s voice is rather different from what I’m used to hearing in electronic music, and takes a while to get used to. Sounding more like a 1930’s sultry cabaret singer, Marie emotionally recites poetry and enthusiastically references literature and authors in an oddly beatnik fashion, and although it is something of an acquired taste, it actually works really well.
From the moment you hear Marie sing, it is very apparent that Rose Et Noire is extremely ecclectic. They seem to fuse influences from both modern day French electronic acts such as Air and Telepop Musique, dark electro and that fat synth sound of 80’s electronic music (think Vangelis’ “Blade Runner” soundtrack, Depeche Mode, Cabaret Voltaire, Erasure, etc) with 70’s French rock and folk. A lot of the songs are also quite danceable, using both conventional electro beats and cut up breakbeats, but just as many of the songs focus only on working the layered melodies and ambience in tandem with Marie’s vocals.
The resulting musical universe of Rose Et Noire is a highly complex, dark, and very melodic (but often hard-to-access) work of art that is nearly impossible to fit into any genre. In addition, there is a sense of coherence and intercontextuality throughout “Tracé dans le bleu” that gives the songs an epic scope when the album is listened to in its entirety.
If you can get past the unconventional vocals, Rose Et Noire’s “Tracé dans le bleu” really opens up and just expands upon each listen. The closest I could come to a comparative resemblance would probably be Goldfrapp, Plaid and Moloko, but Rose Et Noire fill in their own little niche. If you like any of the aforementioned bands, do yourself a favour and pick up “Tracé dans le bleu”. As far as intelligent, dark French electropop goes, it doesn’t get much better!


— Jonas Mansoor

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