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coverpic flag Belgium - Full Moon 201 - 01/27/13

BeNe GeSSeRiT
Still Insane After All These Years
Ultramarine Records

We've visited the high, happy, perverse, insane and wonderful world of BeNe GeSSeRiT on quite some occasions earlier, both historical recordings from the 1980s when they started up and more contemporary stuff. The latest was a compilation only three moonths ago that included four BG-tracks recorded in the present millenium. And here is brand new, vinyl only, album recorded between 2009 and 2011 and released by the Italian independent quality label Ultramarine towards the end of last year. There were initially a few copies on pink and orange vinyl. By now I guess only the straight black vinyl version is back.

The good news is that the album reveals new sides of the duo. Also good new for those of us who enjoys vintage BG, there's a healthy dosis of easily recognisable songs of the 1980s and early 1990s flavour, too. The first implies some pleasant surprises. It starts immediately with the opening "I Live I Love I Sink" of the aaaH SiDe of the LP. It's calm and moody with a trumpet sounding kind of keyboard and relaxed vocals. Amazingly playful and poppy for a BG song. An immediate favourite; this is chicken skin music! "Activités Illictites" is repetitive and also quite poppy for a BG-song. It includes normal spoken words, a bit funky bass and a jazzy trumpet something that intervenes occasionally to add a bit of the neccessary insanity. "Exhume Your Weapons (Time Has Come For Fighting)" towards the end of the Be SiDe is another goodie and pleasant surprise. It's one of a few BG instrumentals, dominated by quite heavy keyboards, occasionally jazzy and progressive. "Chantez, Dansez" has an accordion sounding loop and effect-treated vocals on top, calm and not very danceable in the first half. The middle part is quite creepy with a cello-sounding keyboard and normal voice before the accordion returns to finish it off. Great!

"Cela Fait Longtemps Que Je N'ai Plus Vu D'arc-en-ciel" and "Shut Up!" are closer to the BeNe GeSSeRiT that we are used to from the 1980s. The former has no instruments, I guess, only a kind of oral rhythm loop over effect-treated long-drawn out seasick vocals whereas the latter includes a rhythm/keyboard loop with some sounds close to noise, and spoken and shouted words on top. Sparse and effective, both of them.

The remaining tracks might be put in an intermediate category, between the BG of old and new. "Madré Zias" is melodic but pulls in a new direction compared to your average BG song because of the lengthy sung vocals and funny instrumental things going on. "Le Point De Départ" starts quite conventional, like a melancholic and folk-tinged ballad. The distrubance grows thanks to haunting vocals and an intervening Hendrix-sounding distorted guitar. (The mystery, though, is there are no guitars involved, the information on the cover states. Maybe it's the digital sax...) The somewhat insane and moody electro-something melancholic is represented by "Insects". There's aslo a couple of short funny vocal ditties on offer.

Well then, this album was a pleasant surprise. All in all it's a bit mellower and brighter than expected, which match the bright colours of the sleeve. There's only 300 copies of the LP around, so don't hesitate too long to get in touch with Ultramarine Records if you're interested.

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You may also want to check out our BeNe GeSSeRiT articles/reviews: A High, Happy, Perverse And Cynical Cry Of Joy, BeNeFiT, First Time In Aachen, Les Vleurs Du Bal, THe SeCoND BeNeFiT, The Record Store Day EP, eccentric ????.

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