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The RFI/Musique Team

Noir Désir
One Trip One Noise

31/12/1998 - The alternative rock group Noir Désir are, like the "Last of the Mohicans", the final generation in the dynasty of France's truly great rock bands. Now that Téléphone, Starshooter and Trust have bitten the dust, and France's post-punk rock heroes Beruriers Noirs and Mano Negra are no more, who will fly the flag for Rock on a modern music scene overtaken by rap, techno and jungle ? Noir Désir, the supersonic rock outfit from Bordeaux, that's who!


Noir Désir - a.k.a. Bertrand Cantat and his 'brothers in rock' - have remained true to their alternative sound over the past ten years, never once succumbing to the temptation of making commercial chart hits. Instead, Noir Désir have bravely soldiered on with what they like to define as their noisy art style, releasing just five albums over the past decade !

Since Noir Désir released their last album ("666.667 Club") two years ago, a host of Young Rock Pretenders have emerged on the French music scene, looking to step into Noir Désir's shoes. Rising young rock bands such as No One Is Innocent, Louise Attaque and Zebda have all acquired a strong following of new fans, but real rock aficionados still hold Noir Désir's rage, fury and thrashing guitar chords close to their hearts.

The Bordeaux rockers have never really gone out of fashion. Indeed, Noir Désir's alternative rock sound has influenced a whole generation of up-and-coming bands - and Noir Désir's sphere of influence is obviously not limited to France either! For one day, a package postmarked Yugoslavia dropped through the band's letter-box. Opening it Noir Désir discovered, much to their surprise, a cassette featuring a remix of "Septembre, en attendant". The band were impressed by the transformation of their old hit. Indeed, so much so that they decided to hand over their master tapes to a group of young musicians, inviting them to rework their old cult classics.

The result will amaze, astound and even perhaps shock the Old Guard of Noir Désir fans. But we're sure other music fans will be suitably impressed by the 13 new versions of Noir Désir's best-known hits featured on the album "One Trip, One Noise". The album runs the musical gamut from A to Z, including a wide mix of musical styles from Treponem Pal's thrashing guitar rock on the title track to the atmospheric violin theme on "Oublié" (which sounds not unlike a James Bond theme reworked by Portishead!). The album also includes some moody jazz-inspired trip hop on the song "Lolita nie en bloc". Take it from us, these tracks and the other hallucinatory techno/trance re-workings of Noir Désir hits are enough to plunge the listener through the looking-glass into another Rock Dimension!