www.runegrammofon.com
GET ON THE MAILINGLIST

SubscribeUnsubscribe


Reviews 2126

The music made by this French quartet on their third album, and first on Rune Grammofon, manages to convincingly straddle the increasingly slender hinterland that separates Earth in their current incarnation and Laughing Stock-era Talk Talk. The opening title track begins with a passage of low, ruminative electric guitar similar to Dylan Carson on his current form, but then suddenly stops to splinter into an extended ambient and atmospheric form of improvisation. Much of "High Blues" stays within this register, although there are shades of musical film noir within the guitar twangs of "Suite". The sense of slow drift, of music to contemplate dust particles floating through the air, is heightened by Astrïd´s arrangement of a piece by Erik Satie. It´s an appropriate fit as, like Satie, Astrïd produce chamber music which allows the mind to focus or wander at will.
Rock-a-Rolla (UK)

The spirits of Erik Satie and the No-Neck-Blues-Band rarely mix in a singular vision, but this French quartet even uses moments of the enigmatic moods of Mark Hollis and some Eno-esque abstractions to create unique chamber-like atmospheres that never soumd like a sum of their inspirations.
Manafonistas (DE)  

Dem französischen Quartett ASTRÏD, das sich benannt hat nach Astrid Kirch­herr wegen des nichtfranzösischen und nichtenglischen Flairs, gelang das Kunststück, als eine nichtnordische Band in den inneren Kreis von Runegard aufgenommen zu werden. Wenn gleich als Erstes das gut 21-min. Titelstück von High Blues (RCD 2126) zu erklingen beginnt, leuchtet auch unmittelbar ein, warum. Cyril Secq mit Gitarren und Harmonium und Yvan Ros an Drums, Percussion und Kontrabass, 1997 das Gründungsteam der Formation aus Nantes & Marseille, weben zusammen mit der Geigerin Vanina Andreani und Guillaume Wickel an Klarinetten, Flöte und Rhodes ein dröhnendes Ambiente, bei dem das innere Auge nicht mehr unterscheiden kann, ob der Horizont von gleisenden Dünen aus Sand oder aus Schnee gesäumt wird. Auch Erfrieren­den wird ja halluzinatorisch heiß, und die Walküren können dann die Gestalt von Huri des Paradieses annehmen. Während die Geige glissandierend Kur­ven zieht und die Klarinette kirrt und klagt, drehen sich kleine Gitarren- und Bassmotive zeitvergessen um sich selbst. Mit einer zeitlupigen Version von 'Gnossiennes' folgt als 'Erik S.' eine Hommage an Satie, bei der akustische Gitarre, Geige und Klarinette den Ohrwurm zum Tanzen bringen. Dunkle Paukentupfer markieren die anschließende 'Suite' als feierlichen, pharao­nischen Oriental Swing. Die akustische Gitarre von 'James', lange solo, bevor eine Kalimba und die übrigen Stimmen mit einsteigen, suggeriert dann ein arabeskes Spanien. Zuletzt feilt die Geige tonlos an 'Bysimh', zu Glockenspiel (oder Einfinger-Rhodes) und wieder akustischer Gitarre, hier in monotoner Desertgangart, aber mit melodischen Gedankenspielen, sehnsuchtsvollen Geigenfäden und versonnener Klarinette. Das Morgenland als Sehnsuchts­horizont, psychedelisch, hypnotisch.
Bad Alchemy (DE)

Ungewöhnlich genug, aber grundsympathisch: ein französisches Quartett um den Gitarristen Cyril Secq und den Schlagzeuger Yvan Ros benennt sich, um Spuren zu verwischen, nach der Fotografin und Beatles- Ikone Astrid Kirchherr und veröffentlicht sein drittes Album seit 1997 ausgerechnet auf dem norwegischen Feinschmecker-Label Rune Grammofon.Das ergibt aber Sinn, denn Astrïd spielt eine radikal entschleunigte, freie, psychedelische Kammermusik mit Gitarre, Perkussion, Harmonium, Violine und Bassklarinette. Das klingt manchmal nach John Fahey, manchmal nach Earth, häufiger nach den ganz späten Talk Talk oder nach Pink Floyd ohne Keyboards und unplugged. Hier könnte aber auch eine sehr obskure Krautrockband der frühen siebziger Jahre am Werk sein. Oder die Schamanen- Folker der No Neck Blues Band. Zwei Jahre dauerte die sonderbareProduktion von „High Blues“, der eröffnende Titeltrack währt länger als zwanzigMinuten, und ein Erik-Satie-Cover der „Gnossiennes“ findet sich hier auch.
Stuttgarter Zeitung (DE)

Astrïd ist ein Quartett aus Südfrankreich und entfaltet auf „High Blues“ lange, getragene, archaisch klingende Soundscapes mit Akustikgitarre und Jazzelementen.
Choices (DE)

Plateselskapet Rune Grammofon slipper sjelden til utenlandske artister. Når det skjer, er derfor forventningene høye. Den franske, gitardrevne kvartetten Astrïd har et sammensatt uttrykk som peker langt utenfor hovedinstrumentets domene. Soundet deres gir gode assosiasjoner til artistene Loren Connors og Earth. Bevegelsene er langsomme og gjerrigheten utpreget. Kalimba, fiolin, harmonium og klarinett tydeliggjør saktmodigheten. Franskmennene spiller kammermusikk uten permanent hjemsted. Struktur og tilnærming står i gjeld til det klassiske så vel som til rocken. På "Erik S." tar Cyril Secq frem den akustiske gitaren og gjør omgivelsene myke og varme. Astrïd har fast grep om egen identitet og lykkes godt med varsom og melodisk kraft. 5/6.
Aftenposten (NO)

Astrïd reveals the assimilation of american minimalism with the us of various timbers coming from far territories. Erik Satie is showing his nose in Erik S. - a way, for the french quartet to draw his reverence to one of the most original coposers of the 20th century. Psychedelic folk, a very kind of saucerful of secrets revisited, belongs to the atmospheric instrumental tradition, where time is shared in glissandi, loops- these moments are the way to trap time spreading. Astrïd is on the borders of contemporary chamber music and an abstract white progressiv rock. Erik Satie might play guitar and have been reincarnated in Astrïd- and that's great!
Classica (FR)

French quartet evolving quietly from "music for" (2004), with an album every 4 years, Astrïd has landed softly on Rune Grammofon. An accomodating space, cut to measure for that original and beautiful "avatar" of electronic music, played organicaly in an half ambient-half jazz weightlessness that only skill musicians are able of. From the beginning, in gracious 20 minutes, the bewitching High blues is the theater of skilful slips and subtle junctions : post-rock sound are quick disappearing to leave the place to a streched improvisation where appear the ghosts of Mark Hollis, Jerry Garcia and Jon Hassel, before a bass rock riff, obsessive but idle, invites clarinet and strings to join a whales choir. Revolving around the superlative precision of Cyril Secq guitar playing, the compositions of the quartet- applying to the letter the silence equation from Miles Davis- never fall down in the trap of facility. Their intelligence allowed them not to make a cheap melancholic homage, taking out the core of the first gymnopedy (1887) from Satie (Erik S.) and working out a surprising "bullet time" flamenco (James), whose pulse seems to have been based to match the future summer rain of meteorits. Extremely quiet, but never soporific, High Blues is a beautiful album allowing dreams and contemplation, offering, like the japanese gardens, several listening levels.
Magic RPM (FR)

After the well acclaimed "music for" (2004), "&" (2008), out on arbouse recordings, Astrïd - a stongly discrete band - has just sent out a third album on Rune Grammofon. High Blues is barely "In a silent way" in a post-rock way. All along the 20 minutes of the first piece, the 1969 ambient Miles Davis is dancing tightened to Labradford. Crystal guitars, hypnotizing drones, rare chords changes, soft strings dissonances, beautiful wind instruments. Felted like a billiard cloth. As velvety as love. For High Blues, the Grateful Dead white rabbit would have turned from LSD to Cognac. Reminiscences from the act of madness from Talk Talk (Laughing Stock), and a marvelous french 90's UFO, Mils. One can notice some guilty acts, trying to flux and embellish, that can decrease the insidious low trailing character of those five tracks. But the good is done : we are taken by that Hypermuzak, returned of all. Very beautiful album.
Mouvement (FR)

Spread between Nantes and Marseille, the band AstrÏd has done a long trip, for 15 years, that leads them to explore what is between improvised music, contemporary, baroque, folk and rock. Despite the appearences, the quartet (guitar, drums, clarinet and violin) can't be summarized to a simple chicagoan post-rock sound. The ghosts of Satie, Ravel, Rachel's or Ry Cooder are floating on that skeletal folk, an ideal soundtrack for an afternoon rest.
Vibration (FR)

The band who has suscribed to long instrumental epics is digging for 15 years a rigourous furrow between post-rock and ambient neo-classical. One has to be aware, we are here on the margins, on the borders of pop empire and a barbarian world, where the Roman law does no longer apply. For the release of their third record, the quartet lent allegiance to Rune Grammofon. A "head-enquiring" label that fits them as a glove. I have already said it, the music of Astrïd needs patience and time to get in. A little friend advice, avoid redundancy. It is useless to listen to their music on a rainy sunday or to forget a sad love affair. The music could barely match with urban agitation, subway halls or a heavy sun in "south of France" village. When using the opposite course, one can, more easily, get in that "High Blues". Five tracks that sound like the thunder or a lullaby, like the sound of the sea. The album is opening with a 21 minutes long odyssey, crossed by a reverberated guitar playing a repetitive riff. Neil Young, get out of that body! Then, a minimalistic cover of the first Satie Gnossienne. The band, then, changes of way with "Suite", central track, on which resound a huge drum. But you have to wait untill "James" or "Bysimh" to listen to the most intense moments of the record, when all the instruments play together and fill the sound space with warm and rough texture. The listener will travel during almost an hour in that "terra incognita" crossed by many traps. In spite of long tracks, Astrïd is a band that plays with silence with brilliance. This ascetism, able of luminous rises that are made wait subtly, only cultivates one thing, mystery and beauty.
Popnews (FR)

http://acloserlisten.com

http://www.fluid-radio.co.uk

http://www.theliminal.co.uk

http://www.popmatters.com

http://www.soundofmusic.nu

http://inactuelles.over-blog.com   (french)

http://www.popnews.com   (french)

http://leschroniquesdecharlu.blogspot.fr

http://boomkat.com

http://www.meier-online.de

http://www.mic.gr   (greek)

http://www.popnews.com   (french interview)

Developed in KeyPublisher, a Keyteq AS©2006 product