The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


A few months ago we got hold of 'Blacklist', the debut album by Toulouse duo Kap Bambino (below right). Because of the electroclash sound and boy-girl line-up, this pair - Caroline Martial and Orion Bouvier - are usually compared to Crystal Castles. And 'Blacklist' certainly follows a similar line in chassis-shaking beats with industrial-strength techno distortion and electro danceability. Longtime live favourites for the intensity of their sound, the record has been getting great reviews too - we see that Flohic over at Swing Your Soul has been raving about it.

Kap BambinoBy contrast, your blogger finds it alright, no more than that. It has plenty of energy and attitude, but most of the sounds are almost cartoonish. And Martial's vocal style is quite irritating at times - like some spoilt, stroppy teenager she shouts and whines and sometimes finishes her lines with an upward question inflection. If she thinks she's being individual or innovative... um, no. Just irritating.

But 'Blacklist' has one track that we find to be fantastic - it's called 'Bluescreen'. Rather perversely, it doesn't sound like the techno-punk of the rest of the album. Instead it's like a throwback to post-punk new wave synth-pop, with a thudding bassline and icy keyboard parts and a melodic, un-irritating singing performance from Martial. And the song is a million times catchier than everything else on the album.

So, it'll be a sure-fire hit single, then? Well, probably not. Kap Bambino haven't posted it on their MySpace and there's no video for the song anywhere on the web - not even a home-made version or a camera-phone film from the back of their concerts. Could it be that your correspondent is the only person who likes 'Bluescreen' and that Kap Bambino and their fans are somehow embarrassed by this different-sounding and catchy tune? It wouldn't be the first time that your correspondent has been out of step with the musical tastes of the entire nation of France.

You can - and you should - listen to 'Bluescreen' by Kap Bambino here on Deezer.

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Nuggets from our archive

2004 - The CLUAS Reviews of Erin McKeown's album 'Grand'. There was the positive review of the album (by Cormac Looney) and the entertainingly negative review (by Jules Jackson). These two reviews being the finest manifestations of what became affectionately known, around these parts at least, as the 'McKeown wars'.