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coverpic flag France - Full Moon 100 - 11/26/04

Rose et Noire
Rose et Noire

Since the holy trip-hop triumvirate of Massive Attack, Tricky and Portishead released their seminal albums in the nineties there's been precious little to shout about in this much-maligned genre. Too often trip-hop spells 'tasteful', 'coffee table', or, God-forbid, 'Dido'.

This French duo, vocalist Marie Möör and music-maker Laurent Chambert, have a distinctive take on the all-too-familiar trip-hop blueprint: beats and synths, laden with nocturnal atmosphere, but this time with a seductive French female vocal, by turns hissing and husky.

Although pretty unremarkable, there is something about Rose et Noire that at first kept me coming back for more. The combination of female French vocals - I have absolutely no idea what they're about - with the impersonal electronic backing creates something that is gritty, smoky and vaguely satisfying. It is the kind of sound that is initially thrilling, perhaps because opener "Prosit" is easily the best track here, but pales rather quickly over the course of fourteen tracks.

C'est la vie.

Copyright © 2004 Tim Clarke e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Rose et Noire article/review: Tracé dans le bleu.

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