Saturday, September 15, 2007

Vox Populi! - Aither LP (VISA UF 010) 1989

This is the second LP from Vox Populi! released in 1989 on VISA records. This also turned out to be their last full-length release, not including the split LP w/ HNAS posted a while back by Thing on the Doorstep here. Also posted there more recently is their first LP Myscitismes.

This was the first Vox Populi! I heard aside from a couple compilation tracks and I've been a fan ever since. I picked this up around the time it was released and have been trying to find everything else they recorded for the last 15+ years.

I've never figured out why they fizzled out after this. Their musical output was limited to just a few compilation appearances after 1989. Anyone out there have some insight into what happened to Vox Populi!?

The first track Djamileh has always reminded me of Cocteau Twins. A Cup of Tea for Suzuki previously appeared on the Audiologie 5et6 - Ethniques Urbaines cassette compilation I posted in February. The last track, La Grande Plante Fibreuse, appears on the cassette compilation Mea Pulpa, but I am not sure if it is the same version.

Side B is left intact as one track. Here is the full tracklist:

Side A:
Tik & Tics (mis-titled in rip as Tik & Ties)
Le Nenuphare
A Cup of Tea for Suzuki
Zen Dub

Side B:
Allo rechte?
Homo Religiosis
La Grande Plante Fibreuse



taalem said...

axel kyrou (vox populi! mastermind) is now active as gitanjali & the masters of mystic entertainment. some tracks were released on various compilations. check discogs ;-)

tristan.koreya said...

if you can read french, here is the most recent interview i know of vp! front-man, answering your question about what happened to them:

Atlantis Audio Archive said...

taalem - thanks for the info. Have you heard any of this?

tristan - thanks for the link. Very interesting. Do you know if the album that is mentioned ever came out? There are only Gitanjali compilation appearances listed on discogs.

Here is a rough english translation via babelfish:

Interview carried out on February 7, on 2005 and diffused April 7, 2005

Eden' S Gate

Group created in 1981 by Axel Kyrou, vox populi! the scene industrielle/expérimentale marked the Eighties from its discs (Ectoplasmies, Myscitismes, Aither...), its collaborations with artists like HNAS or Pacific 231, its label Vox Man, its participations in a plethora of compilations and its attraction for a mystical and ludic approach of the music. Nothing more obvious for us than to meet Axel Kyrou and Mithra, Iranian singer of the group arrived in 1985, for an emission of radio Cold Shower devoted to the Mystic and Ludic. With new credit, the group, renamed Gitanjali, took part in compilation Echo Hiring and has just recorded a new album. A generous and inhabited meeting.

Why to have changed the name vox populi!?

Axel: Because there always was much vox populi in the world and at the time where we were really a group of scene, one received times of the enthusiastic letters Belgian fans who had seen us on the spot whereas we had never gone to Belgium. There was also a Spanish group of Catalonia which was thus called vox populi it was a little confusion. Since ten years, we did not leave anything for various reasons, it is thus well to set out again on at the same time new and old bases, to give up this name to renew itself in continuity. This would not be that in sonority Vox Populi/ Gitanjali it is not excessively different.

Yes, it is rather close and what does Gitanjali want to say?

It is an Indian first name.

There is a title which left on compilation Echo Hiring but there is also an album which will leave...

It has been just finished. We are canvassing various labels.

An album in the line which gathers bands worked between 1986 and 2005. How was it built?

There was a conjunction of various things. Always to have already made music even when we did not have any label to leave them, therefore we have a mass of more or less finished screens, pieces which available are accumulated on a score of years. With the occasion of a request, I had the occasion to test a machine which I bought thereafter, a very powerful tool of mastering which enabled me to rediscover, to give a new life to certain pieces. From there, the idea to supplement recent pieces which were not in a sufficient number to be able to make it possible to carry out CD and to combine that with pieces much older but worked over again, put at the tuning fork of the more recent pieces. There is thus a sound homogeneity even if the supports of origin are very varied, of the cassette to the magnetic tape or with the diskette or Cd. There are many speakers too.

Does the fact of rediscovering old bands and to be a little listener of its own music, what that get émotionnellement?

For me, it is always the same thing because I am always listener of my own music. When I make music, I am in a rather constant state of opening, it is not the ego which is expressed. I am the first to listen to my music like an "external" music. I can very easily take distance, therefore that brought anything to me moreover except than to give a correct sound, a brightness, a volume, a relief with a piece that can really transfigure it in certain cases, it is that which is very pleasant. To start from sources deteriorated to arrive at an enthralling piece. I think in particular of a piece that you liked much where Mithra sings with the guitar with behind plane Pacific 231, an old piece of 1986 which was in a rather pitiful state on a magnetic tape that I could rediscover and reinterpret with this machine which can really make miracles.
The kiss

One finds sound elements very varied in your pieces, of the improvisations but also of the bands. How these bands are built on the technical level?

There is no rule, all is possible, that can go from recordings made in outside - recently, I invented a kind of technique which consists in putting miniature microphone in tubes and to record in external environments, while adding to it of the personal also, musical interventions on line. There is a piece as that which is called "Resonant Object and Real World" which is made in this manner, very live. A contrario, there can be pieces which are almost only work of studio, joinings, starting from very disparate elements. For example, the piece which left on Echo Hiring, the flute had been recorded on another piece which did not have anything to see. While transposing to the level of the tonalities so that that sticks with the new base, I think that nobody can think that that was not created for the piece. In the life, one undergoes enough rules for in our leisures applying none of it. The instruments are different, the guests also, the techniques too. On certain pieces, there is cut, on others, instruments slowed down or harmonized. The last piece is a ballade with the guitar of Mithra which did not undergo any particular treatment. The effects can be abusive or very sober. The whole is that it emanates from it a certain sound poetry, and emotion.

One finds in particular the topic of the voyage. What did the voyages bring to your music, by knowing that Mithra itself is of Iranian origin?

Mithra: There is a discussion which I had recently with a working group in the field of the mental health. It was said that finally the fact of speaking in another language is already like a voyage, all the ramifications and the feelings which one can feel in a conscious or unconscious way by hearing other languages. In what relates to me, I have a very emotional relation with the pieces sung in my mother tongue since it is a language which I do not practise any more with share in the songs. It is sure that there is an emotion which, I think, is transmitted, gets along. The voyage it is full with emotions.

There is also this strange and foreign dimension of the music.

Axel: Essence is to create a sound universe which must have its own significance. There must be a communication. For me, the music is to make choices and it is at this time that that is translated, by a kind of crystallization. I can have visual deformations which arrive to me when a music gives me many emotions. The music would be like a palpable relief, if it is expanding or if it is losing a little volume. There is really a relation between the music and of the feelings of a visual or mental nature.

Precisely, can these feelings change? Is it possible to see certain images at the time when one turns the buttons and then two months later the images are the same ones?

It is not so much in terms of image, they is rather feelings of the level of the touch or the felt total one. There must be a world which is created which must be palpable in one way or another, by a visual or mental deformation. But as long as the world did not take form, I content, did not arrive so that I wanted.

The voice is rather present on this album, the language of Gitanjali is not an imaginary language. Are the words always existing or invented?

Mithra: With regard to my songs, it is the language Persian which is not very known in France and which indeed has sonorities which can appear strange. It is not the first time one asks to me whether it is really a language. Axel: There is also a text sung in English, and then voices. There is the brother of Mithra, Arach, which is an multi-instrumentalist and who does not make a voice badly.

Yes, it worked with many groups like Obscure Clair...

It is one of the three founder members of Ekova who left three or four cds on Sony. It even played with the musicians of the Nile.

There are also many sounds taken in natural space. One does not know if the sounds were reprocessed or not, the sounds in them-even being rather fantastic. The sounds are they always reprocessed or are rough?

When the natural sounds are reprocessed it is very slightly contrary to other sound sources which can be handled much. If one pushes too much far handling on a sound from crickets for example, one quickly will obtain an effect which will get along. The natural side will disappear very easily to give a substitute of something between the naturalness and nonthe naturalness. It is the juxtaposition of the various elements which is important and the choice is often Draconian. For example, I adore frogs and two minutes ago of frogs on the long piece at the end of the disc and it is the large orgy of the beginning of spring. As soon as one approaches frogs, they from go away systematically thus it is just necessary to pose the microphones, and as they always return to the same place, on this occasion they were really nose with nose with the microphone, it is that which gives this very odd side, viscous, one feels that it is very wet and it is practically not treated. The purpose of this piece was to illustrate natural elements with a music and not the opposite. The music is there to only underline and emphasize these aspects.

Is there the accidental one and if so, how that appears concretely?

There is only the accidental one. For me, the music is to make choices, I create collisions, meetings which do not take place to be. I create some full and there above I select of them some which I work over again thereafter. With the base, there is always a collision which was not envisaged mentally. It is more than to choose, it is décataloguer. It is able to me to supplement a simple small base, to review several hundreds of samples or different screens until I discover that which falls well. It is always a discovery. There can be also improvisation on the level of the musical partition itself.

This album, it is a little the return of vox populi! Do you want to take again an activity as in the Eighties?

On the level in the concerts it is not at all on the agenda. Even people who often play with us have all of the very fascinating activities. To mobilize for concerts it would be difficult. I never really stopped the music thus I do not think that I will stop. It is envisaged after this CD a volume 2 which instead of going to seek in new pieces also will also seek on published pieces worked over again drastiquement but in recent things. The same principle but by widening the field of research to things which had left.

This album releases a deep appeasing, but not an appeasing which one could find in the music ambient, it is much more sensual, almost carnal, and especially very mental, we are taken in sound and emotional spirals. Which is the distance which you have compared to your music?

There is no distance. Essence is to make a music with difficulty captable, which escapes from the field from the thought. To make a music which is not addressed to the thought, one cannot use the thought, it is not possible. The means inevitably will print the end. The means is to completely shape with the music in an active méditatif state. It is the power meditation.

It would be for you the best conditions to appreciate the music of Gitanjali?

The music must go to that which listens to it and not the opposite. The movement is top downwards in some kinds.

It is a mystical movement.

Completely. But mystical while being fun. There are light traces of humour. The principle is not to have to leave the dry land to take off.

Today which musics and which artists challenge you?

One of my great discoveries it is the music of Balouchistan, an area between Iran and Pakistan which makes a music of very rythmée and very fascinating fright at the same time, very Eastern. Mithra: All the current minimalist, what is called the électronica. Me I smell myself very touched by this movement when it is done in a manner very minimalist. And then also all that one can call "experimental", i.e. an approach of the music, instrument, voice who is not inevitably dictated by rules, by a way of making particular, but made in a more inventive way, freer.

This freedom always was presents on your premise, considering you are own-produced. The music in itself is very rich, drawing from the psychedelism, the traditional music, the folk, the experimental music, a kind of musical patchwork, and an idea of undulation.

Axel: There is a whole side of what one has fact which is not present in the disc, in particular the dancing side, quasi-techno, which is left on side. With the origin, I had wanted to put it but it was with the detriment of the unit and a unit which would be higher than the sum of its parts.

There is thus a history behind this album?

The album must send in various places through various stages. It is very subjective. But there must be a way with ruptures not too violent.

You spoke about this piece in English, with a voice which one never heard before in the titles of vox populi!

It is a girl of Iranian and Irish extraction, which is called Christina Batman. My working method for the musicians and the speakers is very free, i.e. they do almost what they want but I record many catches and then I assemble.

The album finishes by a counting rhyme sung by Mithra, I would have liked to know if it were a traditional song.

Mithra: It is Golpari June, that can be a counting rhyme as you say. But it is a very old piece, that must date from the Fifties. It is a a little popular song, for the children. It is true that I have curiously in memory of the very old songs, of which I think Iranian of my generation do not remember, which were transmitted to me by my grandmother.

And titrates it album, it is Masters of Mystic Entertainment, it is a humorous wink... What it is which Mystical Entertainment?

With this kind of music, one is not in the mystic pure and hard because the discs which are in the pure and hard mystic are much less amusing. To make a music which wants to be to have an ascending inspiration while being distracting. It is true that to listen to CD of LaMonte Young it should be listened to in its totality, one needs certain conditions, that can bring very far, it is another step.

Thank you very much

Thank you.

Remarks collected by Dye stick N and max Lachaud

Art Of Losing said...

A 1988 concert of VP! here :
have a nice day.