reviewed by Ben Hogwood
What’s the story?
This is the tale of a friendship, a musical spark and the concept album that came out of it. Laurent Garnier met Lionel and Marie Limiñana back in 2017, and the three bonded initially over Lionel’s ringtone, The Kingsmen’s Louie Louie.
They stayed in touch, hooking up to make an album following a 1960s’ couple on a road trip. We join the pair, Juliette and Saul, at the southern border of France, near Spain, and we pass – in the words of the trio – through ‘squalid brothels, third-rate dance clubs, ‘60s vintage caravans, smack, Roger Harth and Donald Cardwell productions, distortion and fuzz-pedal sound effects. Gilles Deleuze, Professor X and the preacher from ‘The Night of the Hunter’ are some of the characters that inhabit the world of this drama-inspired record’.
Initially Lionel included some electronic beats in the album, leaning towards Garnier’s long-established techno workings, but the Frenchman rejected these in favour of keeping the Spanish duo’s psychedelic sound at the front of the mix.
What’s the music like?
Prepare for some adrenalin-fueled highs as the music of De Película takes shape. The three musical protagonists have harnessed their love of Krautrock – and especially Can – to make a set of driving musical grooves that are by turns thrilling and mesmeric.
They express themselves through propulsive rhythms on tracks which often choose a single pitch as a bass and stick to it, creating a hypnotic groove for the listener. When pared with a spoken word narrative the music works really well. Je rentrais par le bois…definitely falls into this category with its slowly creeping melody and psychedelia, as does Juliette dans le caravane, which adopts a similar profile. Steeplechase speeds off into the distance, a thrilling rush of sound over a pulsating groove, If anything Que Calor! is even better, with the attitude of Edi Pistolas’ spoken word coursing through its veins.
Some of the slower rhythm tracks hark back to the big beat sound emanating from Brighton in the late 1990s, but ultimately go beyond that to ape the cavernous sound of late 1960s’ psychedelia . Tu tournes en boucle is one such example, while Juliette adds a smoky texture and atmospheric commentary.
Does it all work?
It does. De Película is a lot of fun, flexing its muscles but not wanting to be taken too seriously. It is easy to sense the fun Garnier and the Limiñanas had in each others’ company
Is it recommended?
Yes. Laurent Garnier’s fascinating musical evolution continues, but this collaboration reflects well on both sides, bringing out their strongest musical identities in music that gives its listener plenty of thrills and spills.