Fantomas 
Delirium Cordia
/ipecac; 2004/

 

 



more info:
www.ipecac.com


This review was made live at Angusí apartment by Dave Rebel And Angus Anderson on one fine rainy afternoon in February and another cold sunny one, just after the changing of the guards and before the return of the screw.

 

Playtime 00:00

D: Can I have a sweet, dude?

A: Sure, enjoy.

D: How shall we get started? Iíve heard stories about the record being divided into different parts,.. something Tibetan, something Windy. There is a trilogy centred on W: Writer, Wind and Water. Maybe itís a record against W Bush. These are only speculations.

A: Did you sleep well last night?

D: How about you?

A: Well, I am a noviciate, you know. I only have the Millenium Monsterwork album, itís the Fantomas Melvins live they released last year, I think. Itís like a best of, without singles. Horace de Tupolev has just given me Directorís Cut which is Ďeasierí to listen to. Iíve have not heard much about the new album, I think itís a surgery album.

D: Truly, this is nonsense, there is only one single track, 74 minutes long. Itís an anti-random mode device against people like us. I feel personally attacked.

A: Maybe itís only the soundtrack of our lives. I suppose itís stupid to talk of a concept album when it comes down to Fantomas.

 

Letís play.

00:01

A: See, thatís the sound of a vinyl. I suppose it means something to have that on CD.

D: Total Fantomas style at the beginning. Sweet arpeggio and Pattonís voice entwined.

A: Thatís frustrating, start, stop, start again. They only give a bit of the bone before pulling it back.

01:27

D: And thatís Tibet!

A: Tibet with balls. Ok, I understand. Patton is a choir all by himself.

02:50

A: Ambiance. I think thatís the key word for the rest of our evening.

D: Calm, noise, calm. Expect the unexpected and be conscious of everything. Slightly Goth. Ah.

04:57

D: Voice at last, Patton is back plus mandolin thing and noise.

05:52

A: Djembť and percussion. Thatís tribal, is someone being stabbed? Destructuration, deconstruction, decomposition.

07:16

A: A sample of dialogue plus bells. A groaning woman with the rising bells, makes me think of a Christian Porn. It reminds me of nothing Iíve already heard before.

D: Hear, itís a ternary rhythm.

08:27

D: Is this a ballad? Wonít last. Really smooth, piano and soft vocals, whispers in the dark. This is dark.

A: There is a teremin for the flying saucers quota.

D: Ambiance. Dark, only notes, very low.

A: I am glad the sun is still out. This is nighttime murder reverie music. Whatís that noise? Itís like a scene in a horror movie, the anti-hero is walking down a badly lit corridor toward the  morgue. No, donít push that door!! No!

D: The noises may be that of someone searching into his tools. Surgery tools? Itís freaky.

A: Thatís the longest sequence so far.

14:11

A+D: R2D2 playing maracas?

14:40

D: Straight into the black part. Lots of keyboards, still dark, lugubrious ambiance.

16:01

D: Sudden stop, moody piano bar stuff

A: There ainít a lot of guitars up so far.

D: Nothing catchy. For sure.

16:40

D: Someone typing on a keyboard. A writer maybe. Thatís the first W. Eh!

A: I am sure Patton never suffers from the writerís block.

 

18:52

D: Bells again. More mystical than the first Tibetan evocation.

ÖÖÖÖ

4 days break. Played cards, dated girls, drunk cappuccinos, slept, ate fat food, wrote, walked.

ÖÖÖÖ

D: I wonder (D thinking : Stevie?) if they really write lyrics. They have not recorded it on one take, havenít they? The more I listen to it, the more I like it.

A: Maybe he has invented an onomatopoeic language? Youíre right, it grows on you like moisture on a corpse.

20:39

D: The guitar is back with drums at last. Really heavy. Patton is howling like a mad wolf, with a thundering Lombardo.

A: Thatís nothing that would make you imagine a band playing the music in a studio. Timelessness, unkindness and deconstruction.

22:14

A: Like something metallic flowing down into something metallic too, and bells in the background.

23:10

D: Smooth moaning.

A: There is teremin again. Maybe Iím stupid, but it makes me think of the Godfather theme, moreover itís an intertextual reference to the Directorís Cut album.

24:00

D: That part that makes me think of a drowning scene.

24:12

A: The chaining of sequences makes me think of a film soundtrack.

D: Tubular bells!!

24:58

A: Maybe these are hovering flies or a spinning bicycle wheel.

D: Itís a anguishing crescendo.

26:10

D: Whistle, piano ( another W).

27:23

A: You canít put words on that. Neither Patton can.

D: The keyboards in the back could be another movie theme inch. Not enough guitar.

28:47

D: Melancholic piano lines with the drowned manís heartbeat. The guy is now in the hospital with machinery to keep him alive (D thinking: Staying alive, staying alive).

A: Or unconscious. The alarm clock wonít wake him up (A thinking: Before you go, go).

30:16

A: Drum chaos, an avalanche.

D: It probably pictures the struggle within the drowned man. Struggling against death for salvation.

A: The torture of the body for the salvation of the soul.

30:51

A+D: Guest star: Aborigenes playing the Didjeridoo.

D: Makes me think of the ending of Sepulturaís Roots album, you know, the recording sessions with the Xavantes tribe in Amazonia. Maybe a little long.

32:09

D: And thatís too short!

32:12

D: It sounds like the Directorís Cut album. Refrained rainy attitude.

33:26

D: Overdubbed xylophone?

A: You mean that they paid someone to record 32 other xylophone parts. Just for 25 seconds?

D: Yes. I firmly believe in that. Itís Fantomas, remember, jerk.

33:52

A: Thatís insane.

34:51

D: Thatís very sunny! Coconut trees in the back., mixing cocktails in the fifties.

A: Yeah, Beach Boys in Hawai with acid.

D: Still freaky. The Fantomas touch.

A: The drowned man is dreaming of Hawai, maybe thatís hope.

36:00

A: The sound of an advancing church clock minute hand.

D: The clock of life. The guy is on the wait, on the edge (D exclaiming: Liviní on the edge) of the abyss of death. It may, or may not, confirm the theory about timelessness and spacelessness. There are whispering voices of spirits complotting above the body of the guy, deciding of his fate.

A: DIE! Itís the album of life and death.

38: something

D: And now the Wind. Desolation, the valley of Death, man.

A: Is the guyís fate sealed? The wind means a wipe off.

D: ( imitating Christopher Lambertís laughter) Tabula Rasa.

41 :00

D : Heís beneath the surface. Waterworld.

42:11

D: A dentist?

A: A Texas drill massacre?

42:52

A: A jazzy basse.

D: no theory for me.

43:36

D: The Allelujah sung by an unknown choir, played on a fifty year old radio player. A nest of theories.

A: Ok. The guy is dead. And the Allelujah celebrates his rebirth.

44:08

D: Machinery to help breathing, a modem, dripping water (or drugs? Or life? or what?), percussions : they all entwined into a rhythm. And everything crashes violently. (D thanks Bjork)

A: And it ends on a flat line encephalogram. So heís dead or what. How many times does this guys have to die?

D: Maybe, this part is not in the right place. Anyway, we might never have the key.

A: The end is the beginning is the end.

45:41

A: Why do they start something here?

D: Because itís Fantomas. R2D2 sings on this chaotic guitar line.

46:32

D: A coffin that is opened?

A: Maybe weíre at the funeral. Fuck! Heís alive, the encephalogram strikes back.

D: Not really a regular pulse.

A: Iíve got it! Heís reached the end of his journey down into the lymphs and thought he was dead, but the choir of angels or creatures arrives and he ďwakes upĒ to life.

D: Ö? Is there a dolphin too, just like the one who welcomes Axel at the end of the Estranged video?

49:36

D: The encephalogram panics and goes flat line againÖ

A: And now he will rest in peace, end of the story.

50:23

A: And thatís the ending credits.

D: And Water, you scumbag! There is no end!

53:56

D: Sounds like the guy is back to the surface, gasping his breath. And the music staccato might evoke the ear-splitting sensation caused by the rush of blood to the head. Sorry for the Coldplay reference.

55:11 to 74:12

D: This is the end.

A: Youíre my only friend on this.

74:13

A: Wake up, wake up, you gonna die! Itís the countdown (D: finalÖ: ) for the next album that is due to come out in a few months.

 

CONCLUSION.

A: I feel more humble now. This record generates uneasiness for the listener who does not try to sit down for an hour and just let the emotions come to him. But I agree that itís not an easy thing to do. I may not reassemble all the theories we evoked during this memorable listening because you must die to experience this album fully. In case youíre asked by someone about the record, just say that it may be the descent into consciousness of a drowning man, life and death, celebration = bells = Tibet = Chinese Democracy = Axl Rose = underwater,Ö. Or something of the kind.

D: You have to give more than one listening to this album, even if it is only made of one song. The fact is that itís not really a song, itís a kind of compilation of atmospheres, ambiances and moods. However, the dominant feeling is dark, donít listen to it on a cool Sunday morning, it might ruin your day. As far as I am concerned, I like Delirium Cordia, but I admit that you have to be in a particular mood to appreciate it, itís not a CD that you pick up when you donít know what you actually want to listen to, you have to be prepared.

/mar 1st 2004/