09'01
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Don't Kill
(HEDK005) Hed Kandi 2000
14 Tracks. 45mins43secs.
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Rob was born at the beginning of the eighties. Listening to Donít Kill, his first album, one could be led to think that he actually spent his formative years as he seventies session musician. It comes as no surprise then to find this young Air protégé on Source. With a handful of singles, Rob has already caused quite a stir in his native France, with his unthinkable mix of ultra-sweet pop melodies, disturbing once again the musical consensus already seriously shaken by Phoenix and Air over the recent months.
Donít Kill doesnít display any of the now typical signs of the ĎFrench Touchí disco revival sound. Rob doesnít play with filters or vocoders. Instead, he wraps up his dithered melodies in guitars, real drums, trumpets and strings. Fed with strips of Bowie, Eno, Rundgren and insignificant French pop, Donít Kill explores the outer limits of pop, following in the footsteps of Air. There are undeniable similarities between this album and the duoís 10,000 Hz Legend. However, Robís incredible sense for melodies and sweeping arrangements give Donít Kill an unmistakable and unique identity. If the enlightened power pop gem that is Power Glove, with the bitter-sweet vocals by Astrale, or the Pink Floyd-esque Running For The Gold, sung by the man himself, are beautifully crafted songs, it is with instrumentals that Rob reaches the most distinctive aspects of his music. The title track, an anachronic John-Barry-meets-Ceronne moment, or the richly embodied XX are the best example of this. As XX slowly builds up, the recurring melody brings elements into the spectrum one after the other, to a magnificent coda. Donít Kill is a more straightforward affair altogether, assembled around a tight groove driven by guitars and strings. The moments of calm are equally as impressive, with the short and angelic Chanson Pour Mes Enfants, or Donít Kill Me, which closes the album, being amongst the highlights here.
Donít Kill is one of these rare records that strikes an unsuspected chord in our psyche, and becomes instantly recognisable. It is modern in an old fashioned way, tastefully tacky and cheesy, and ultimately indispensable. One of the most exiting records of the year.
TRACK LISTING
01 De La Musique 08 Don't Kill
02 Power Glove 09 Don't Kill Dub
03 Amours 10 Running For The Gold
04 Sitar Fight Ego 11 Asnières Au Soleil
05 Je T'Aime 12 Sweet Femke
06 XX 13 Fourteen Metal
07 Chanson Pour Mes Enfants 14 Don't Kill Me
 
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The French label responsible for bringing Air to the world.