Intern’s review: Anorak – Dionysos

Every week our intern watches a song that marks the history of music. This week: Anorak“recorded by Steve Albini”.

Dionysus was released on March 5, 2002 Anoraktitle appearing on the album Western under the snow, the band’s fourth album and their first gold record. Recorded in Chicago by famed producer Steve Albini, this album, both poetic and explosive, is the album that marks the group’s flight, such as “an airplane taking off in broad daylight

“Recorded by Steve Albini”

Steve Albini is a musician, producer and true figure of independent rock. Very prolific, he collaborated with the greatest: Nirvana (in the womb), pixie (Surf Rosa), PJ Harvey, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant (walk into Clarksdale), The Breeders and hundreds of other bands and artists. But what characterizes him most is the sound of his recordings and his way of producing.

Albini does not consider himself a producer, but a sound engineer. All albums he produces are marked “recorded by Steve Albini” and not “produced by Steve Albini”. Label hijacked by the French group Recorded by Steve Albini, playing with this “name” that has become more marketing than anything else.

Rather than advising bands on their music and influencing their art, Albini prefers to teach them his technical skills without hindering their creativity. His ethics force him to work with an almost exclusively creative goal, without the goal of profitability. He takes no royalties on the albums he produces and does not charge an exorbitant price, as other producers of his comic do. However, this last point is sometimes disputed, as in this article from Keerang magazine, where Dave Grohl recalls Nirvana paying him $100,000 – though he could have asked for a lot more – to record. in the wombalthough he offered to do this for free if one of the band members beat him at pool.

On most albums produced by Albini, the bass is accentuated, while the voice is rather withdrawn. the scrapbook Western under the snowdoes not escape this “signature”, as can be seen from the titles longboard trainSurfin Frog or Mc Enroe’s Poetry† However, on quieter songs like disguised as not me True Intro theme of Western Under The Snowthe sympathetic crooner voice of singer Mathias Malzieu is in the foreground.

The energy of live on a studio album

With more than 200 concerts before it Western under the snow, Dionysus has built a strong “live” identity. Element that the group wanted to find on an album, as Mathias Malzieu explains in a video shared by the Panthéon label:We wanted something much more explosive and much closer to what we were on stage, in the vibrationIt is partly for this reason that the album was recorded in just fourteen days.

As during a theatrical performance of Dionysus, Western under the snow takes the listener through a whole range of emotions. Both explosive and brutal, some songs are also worthy of the most beautiful lullabies and rock and folk ballads.

On stage and on the album, the members of the group use many instruments: harmonica, keyboard, guitar, bass, double bass, violin, maracas, castanets and a whole host of others, all sublimated by the unique voice and crystalline of Élisabet “Babet” Ferrer, all these expertly mixed ingredients create a musical patchwork between dream and reality, heaven and earth, French and English, rock and folk.

But the album isn’t just a cocktail of musical genres, it’s also a cocktail of the group’s stories and interests. Between two links with the book 38 mini westerns (with ghosts) by Mathias Malzieu we are also told about longboarding, tennis with Mc Enroe’s Poetryor literature with Tokyo Montana -Inspired by The Tokyo Montana Express by Richard Brautigan.

Song for Jedi

If there’s one song responsible for the success of Dionysus and this album, it’s probably Song for Jedi† Streamed over 8,500,000 times on Spotify and at the height of the energy the group can send, this title was initially much more folk, calm and meant to be played on the piano.

It is in a moment of pre-recording crisis that this new version – with Michaël Ponton (alias Miky Biky) on guitar, Guillaume Garidel (alias Guillermo) on bass, Éric Serra-Tosio (alias Rico) on drums and Babet on choirs and the violin was born. †If we had stayed with this piano voice track, we might not even be here to talk about it.explains Mathias Malzieu in test tubethe Figaro show, in 2016.”If we hadn’t fought a little bit with ourselves in this moment of crisis, the song wouldn’t have taken this course. […] These are surprises, accidents, you just have to try to give yourself the means to get there‘ he concludes in the same interview.

Complete and hyperactive performers

It is live that Dionysos gives his most beautiful performances. Between the acrobatics and other walkabouts of Mathias Malzieu and the musical solos of Stéphan “Stéphano” Bertholio, each concert is a real show full of adrenaline, sweetness and surrealism.

Together with the group, each member develops personal artistic projects. Mathias Malzieu is the author of a dozen books and novels full of links to the band’s songs, several solo albums and, in between a bone marrow transplant and a skateboard trip to the North Cape, he even made two films. For their part, Babet has released two solo albums, Miky Biky is a producer and disc jockey, Rico appears on several musical projects, including the Corleone trio with Stéphano and Armand Gonzales. Guillermo left the band in 2015, but left his indelible mark on Dionysos’ history and albums.

Now that my internship with the editorial staff of Focus Vif has come to an end, this Intern Review will be the last I will write to you. I dedicate it to Kevin, Laurent R., Nicolas, Estelle, Valentin, Laurent H., Julie, the entire Newsroom team as well as Juliette and her unwavering support. Thank you for your reviews, advice and for all the moments we shared.

Never forget, alwaysescape, escape, work on your dream until you turn it into reality.– Mathias Malzieu, A Mermaid in Paris.

Guillaume Picalausa

Leave a Comment