Blonde Redhead : “Elephant Woman”

Blonde Redhead

“Elephant Woman”

Angel I can see myself in your eyes
Angel won’t you feel for me from your heart
Do return my heart to me
No don’t insist I’m already hurt

Elephant girl
It was an accident unfortunate
Angel threw me like a rubber man
Aiming for the ground
Why amuse yourself in such way
No don’t insist I’m already hurt

Lay me down on the ground softly softly
Don’t remove my head hurts much too much

You never return it
Well I wouldn’t miss it
I shed no tears for broken me
You never know it my peace of mind
Now inside and outside are matching

Why amuse yourself in such a way
No don’t insist I’m already hurt
If you never return it
Will it break your wings
Will you shed no tear for broken me

Craftily Blurred Elements in Music Part II : Blonde Redhead ‘s #baking

In the Part I, I talked about how Röyksopp used tight weaving, hiding musical elements to create some complex, blurry ways to delight the audience.

Blonde Redhead is an alternative rock-band from New York City. It’s totally different than Röyksopp but they have a trait in common. Their way to use the production, the sound, often “complex and blurry”, drowned in reverb.

It’s often an awful low-level cunning trick, used by thousands of lazy groups playing the female-singer-whispering-melancholy-in-reverberation. But Blonde Redhead are masters, and they use it craftily, losing you in bliss, because it’s rich, complex, and harmonically inventive. You just HAVE TO prick up your ears!

Let’s go. Gimme some sound, dear. Thanks.

SW opens like in a WALL of throbbing grey bass, a droning cloud where you can not distinguish what’s happening. Echoes, piano, weaved guitars, bass, maybe? It’s blurry and complex. The instrumental break is a double-line melody surrounded by a bumpjumping piano (do you hear it?). They are aware of it and they play with that : some words appear sometimes more clearly out of the reverb (“it’s not what it seems”), as is they were coming close to you for a second. It’s like painting! The end is a disintegration, an über-reverberated coil of sounds in a golden space. Listen to the bass work, here… Next to this, even The Cure would lose their bearings (or eggs)! C’est beau, non ?



Silently begins more normally – though you can try (and fail) to separate the elements of music. Behind the clear things (the voice, a bass, the percs), it’s a decor of veils, passing things and overdriven clouds.



The structure I see (or I decide to find) in Blonde Redhead, in Röyksopp, it the same

Tool :

The talent to build something rich and complex, but you don’t BOAST.

Put the surprises and the magic INTO the pastry. Hide them carefully.

Force the audience to listen, to taste, to find where all this pleasure comes from.

To me, it’s high level baking, nothing else.

Thanks for reading!

#alexandreségé #gravure #eugènefroment


“Without Music Life would be a Mistake” ? Nope…

“Without Music Life would be a Mistake”

You can find this quote from Nietzsche on all kinds of tee-shirts.

In fact, you can replace “Music” with some other pleasant words, like “Wine”, or “Love”, or “Philosophy”, “Fashion”, who cares ? Is it an order, some kind of pressure ?

Of course, without music life would not be a mistake AT ALL.

The Persuaders

If you suddenly take seriously how music is important to people, you’ll be SO surprised that you will be floored. I use this “floored” expression because I’m french and I LOVE it. Floored, you on the floor, voilà pour vous.

I asked about the opera, one day. One loves opera because of the magic of the place. Some because of the archetypal terrible stories. For some others, it’s the performance of the singers (ahhhh the “high notes” !). Some guys are in love with one voice only (Callas !). Some guys love only one composer (Wagner, or for me : Puccini). Many love opera and only opera. You can find fools who love to collect all versions of the same thing. Etc.

Elephant Woman

You should and you have to think about it when you want to SHARE a music. You give YouTube links to your lover and most all the time you’ll be surprised. She doesn’t care. What moves you does nothing to the others.

Personaly I love risky modulations (I love Mike Oldfield, John Barry, Progressive Rock and Royksopp, and Puccini, and Prokofiev for this reason). I love to analyse production (Floors of sound in Depeche Mode Violator, different veils in Brian Eno’s work). I love crescendos. I love when the magic is hidden in a mist (Royksopp, Blonde Redhead). I love David Sylvian’s voice. OK I stop here. What about YOU ?

Brilliant Trees

Some like an era (the sixties !), a style (new wave !), an energy (dance !), an attitude (punk !), a flow (rap !), productors (Trevor Horn ?), a sound, a label (4AD), a social field (gothic culture), a movement (house), a nostalgy (“I listened to The Police when she kissed me !”), the singer (Arctic Monkeys oh he’s so cute)…

Tools :

Oh, just this : It’s always more complicated.

Do not think that you have a human typology in mind. You’re wrong.

(and fuck Nietzsche on this quote)