Track By Track: Chimère FM – Chimère FM
Chimère FM, an imaginary radio station transmitting live from Paris, is the brainchild of old friends John Cravache and I:Cube.
The pair are beaming more off kilter goodness into the world with the release of their eponymous debut album on Versatile Records, one that is sure to take you to a “soundwave paradise”.
I:Cube tells us that, with this release and the rest of their material, the pair tend to never pre-write things together, instead they get in the studio and wait for happy accidents and random ideas to materialise. The gear and equipment doesn’t dictate the journey either, they use what they have at their disposal, and generally the results speak for themselves.
On this LP moments of total weirdness sits alongside funky ear worms, and experimental radiophonic soundscapes and chaotic avant-garde motifs are followed by mellow synth jams. It’s a real wonder to behold.
Speaking of the release, I:Cube explains that: “John Cravache and myself Nicolas (I:Cube) were helped by a Yi-King type set of cards and an astrological book that were lying there (though no oblique strategies process was involved during the making of the album).”
We asked the pair to dive a bit deeper into the oddities across the LP and below they’ve done just that…
The colour is definitely salmon pink, it’s the intro track that sets the tone of the whole album, and the colour refers to the record cover and the “brown dwarf” (original title of the track), intermediate in nature between a planet and a star.
The best condition to listen to this opening tune should be in the countryside by night around a campfire while looking at the stars on the 21st of December.
This track was done live as an improvisation and recorded straight to a tiny zoom H2, it features the voice of Marcel Loquin, a mycologyst who was also involoved in some more esotherical researches.
The title track refers to a yellowish naïve painting found in the streets of Paris on my way to the studio signed by “Yvette”, a name suggesting a person of a certain age.
Here we have a pastoral landscape with a lake view during springtime. There’s a boat in the foreground of the painting that is totally oversized and some strange plants.
In contrast, the ritual aspect of the music evokes a “dance macabre” that should take place in a troglodyte cave. It features the Welson organ’s drum machine (versatile’s studio totem), all the rest was played live with numerous takes very late at night. This could take place during spring thaw and the usual water sewage overflows (awful smell included).
Les impétrants (applicants) has this optimistic vibe with a tongue in cheek twist as John Cravache keeps on singing this absurd mantra “applicants are innocent”.
A “blue sky” colour for sure, the gate to paradise, the wonky funk heaven, the dionysiac season.
Another track played live featuring Etienne Jaumet on saxophone, recorded straight to tape. The breath of life in a cool forest in the heat of August.
Le Mans II
This is a “blackhole” tune, vantablack is the colour, no photons, no hope.
No more season, no more life. A plutonian season. The astral voyage of a racing driver after a fatal accident.
The english voice was recorded on sight at “les 24 heures du Mans” in France. One of our iconic synth, the yamaha DX 100 appears on this track. If my memory serves me correctly, we were in studio watching a Dario Argento movie (sound turned off) while improvising this live during 2018’s heatwave.
Concert au mainate club
Pagan Bacchanals in a moody jazz club. A Beefheart-esque character sings while the few customers left ignore him. It’s November and it’s pouring rain outside. End of the world, a Lychian kind of place.
Purple colour comes to mind.
The original version is 40 minutes long. This is us in “Hörspiel” mode.
Solar music, freedom and independence.
Vibrant yellow. Summer is here. On the bank takes off a grey heron (héron cendré) which planes a long moment above our heads.
Brain dance for the bird watchers. Track recorded live in one take, lots of fun involved.
Allergie de l’adulte
We’ve known each other for more than 30 years, so sometimes things come up very easily, in an almost telepathic way.
This track almost wrote itself. We did one pass, then John Cravache added the piano, and it was done.
The vernal equinox, bright orange dawn, something to listen with the one you love in sitting by your side by an old ash tree.
Live at astana
We hope we will actually be able to play this live one day in the city of Astana. You can imagine being surrounded by utopian skyscrapers with golden beams hitting your eyes while the Vermona kick drum hits your chest.
As the title suggests, dark troubled waters from the lake. The vivid blue of the lapis-lazuli stone, a horse running on the other side of the shore, the breeze of a January day, you get the picture.
The track was part of a very long session, including live didgeridoo, harmonica, and a “Honer Organetta 3” found in the streets.
Ghoul and the gang
Ending credits, the last trip. A flashy green tone out of the visible spectrum flashes inside your brain while the car drives too fast before disappearing into the automnal desert landscape.
We have a soft spot for mellow funky tunes. This one is a bit more ominous though.
Synth bass and chords played live during a long studio session in the basement, other elements added later to make it more “real”.
Buy Chimère FM on Versatile’s Bandcamp.