A french trio called France, using drums, bass and amplified hurdy-gurdy. They perform only live, in the middle of the audience - turned in to face each other - full on smoke machines and strobes. And they play only one ‘song’ for the duration of their hour-long set. And it’s the most transfixing live experience of intense physical and mental focus. The distorted hurdy gurdy plugs France’s sound into the country’s history of folk music and popular festivities, of communal trance and immersive pleasure. The rhythmic basis is pretty much the same throughout the whole live. One doesn’t need to actually be tripping balls for the auditory illusions to start coming thick and fast.
Those who’ve stayed for the whole duration of their performances know they’ve shared something. However disparate the phantom forms each might have discerned in the midst of the howls and groans. Gigs like this you leave feeling you’re not quite the same person who went in, even though you’d be hard-pressed to pinpoint precisely what has changed.
One certainty remains at least, that there is still a France we can believe in.
David McKenna (The Quietus).
Initially released as a 50 copies CD-r in 2009, swiss Mental Groove has teamed with french Standard- Infi to reissue this classic live performance onto glorious vinyl edition. The 45 minutes are radically sliced onto the two sides. The recording is raw and the mastering is fat.
The first two pressings made in 2014 and 2015 were distributed confidentially and during the numerous live performances of the band. They are long time sold out and sought after. Now everyone has a chance to get a slice of France’s trance with this third pressing featuring a brand new artwork.