"ALTERNATIVE PRESS" (U.S.A) - Nov. 97 -Jason PETITGREW
"...Line up the laser on any of le Cornet's 13 tracks, and you'll be charmed by smeary bass distortion, post-rock sound shifting, industrial beats, grooves and other mutations."
BLOGSPOT "Just for a day" WNYU Radio(New York) - April - : "Le Grand Cornet"
For the last 15+ years, Double Nelson has performed hundreds of gigs throughout Europe, taken part in the making of european sci-fi films and soundtracks, recorded five or six albums and managed to remain completely unknown on this side of the pond. (perhaps even over there?)
I first ran across them in '97 at the student radio station where I was supposed to review their Le Grand Cornet CD for the airwaves. I am not sure what happened but the CD never went back to the studio. I probably thought it was too bizarre to get any airplay so I pocketed it. The promo sticker on the front still proclaims their blurb:
The experience of listening to this album will fall somewhere between a happy stroll through the park in June and a sleepover at the local abandoned broiler room. This CD reels between the pleasant and the disturbed with a mesmerizing grace. Electronic elements combined with analog noises and eerie french vocals are at times reminiscent of Tortoise, Seefeel, and even Einsturzende Neubauten.
Its not a bad description, certainly some Tortoise, definitely a little early Too Pure-ness and some industrious Neubauten- but they do not sound anything like any of them. Add in some Krautrock. Maybe that's why I never reviewed it, their sound was too confounding. Almost their entire website has been translated into english, which is good because there is not much information available anywhere else, especially in a language that I can understand. Here is the best review I could find after looking for way too long:
The sonic equivalent of the cross-section of a sculpture done entirely in raw meat, dripping, oozing, slimy with congealed fat and laced through with indigestible gristle, Double Nelson recalls the early '80s glory days of Ralph Records - early Yello collaborating with The Residents - dug up as a reanimated corpse.
Overstuffed, Peter-Principled basses, sometimes wobbling jazzward in a distinctively European manner, set off repeated racketing percussion patterns. The overall effect is occasionally reminiscent of post-Margaret Fiedler Moonshake, especially when accompanied by clattering vaguely horn-like samples and heavily processed guitars. "Le Prom'neur" is punctuated by dentists' drills and what sounds a lot like a grotesquely distorted, amplified rubber band. The vocalist mutters and grumbles in French throughout - because of the language, I've no clue what he's on about, but it probably isn't marshmallows and flowers.
The overall murk that characterizes Double Nelson is frequently cut with lugubriously distorted guitars, sounding as if they'd been recorded underwater and kept from collapsing into an indistinguishable mass by the structuring agent of repetition: while each track finds the bass and drums locking into patterns and seldom straying from them, this isn't dancefloor fodder. Not a pleasant record then - but equally innocent of both saccharine and posturing macho nine-inch angst.
Double Nelson - Begon (2003)
Double Nelson - Pece Blues (1999)
Double Nelson - Juan (1997)
Be sure to check out 21 more mp3s at their own websit
"YOUR FLESH" (U.S.A) - Nov. 97 - Howard W.
"...They are big on troweling on electronic concrete noise and unintelligible treated vocals-primary elements of industrial rock style but without the rigid walking-with-butt-cheeks-clamped cozyougottatakeshitrealbad beat tropism...The results are refreshing, sculpted but not fastidious, freewheeling without being unfocussed."
"MAGNET" (U.S.A) - July 97 - Gil GERSHMAN
"...Cancel those scuba lessons the real thing would only be redundant and anticlimactic after this fascinating album."
"SPACE AGE BACHELOR" (Canada) - Spring 98 -
"...This American debut album from France's Double Nelson ranks up there with the creepiest things I've heard lately. The found sound seem like the sort of thing you'd discover while touring sewers, and the singer sounds like he's singing out of a smoker's hole-in-the-throat, while the rhythms are like some dirty futurist version of lo-tech dub, and spacey synths drift on top. Apparently, they've done soundtracks for European science fiction movies, so that's a pretty good indication of what to expect."
"BADABOOM GRAMOPHONE" (U.S.A) - Apr. 97 -
"...Very rarely does one expect to be impressed by original music from France. Yet, there is Double Nelson, who combine industrial stylings, bone music (à la Tom Waits) percussion and an overall playfulness towards a sound all its own.../...a carnivalesque atmosphere of constantly shifting song forms.
The French are, finally in a good way, fun."
"CMJ Magazine/"jackpot" (U.S.A) - March 97 -
"...the sound created by this collective of vocalists, samplers and live musicians has no one substantial reference point ; rather, it touches upon many things - dub, musique concrète, industrial, ambient - but translates them into a musical language largely foreign to even the above mentioned sensibilities..."Le grand cornet" is a pure, exacting soundtrack to troubling dreams and worrisome situations."
"RAGE" (France) - Feb. 97 - Philippe ROIZES
"...You need to make a slight effort to to immerse in D.N's universe. Here, it is rather a mix of "nod-inducing" bass, city noises, radio cut-ups, night creatures, FX footswitches, metal clashes as well as incongruous sounds that can be recorded underwater. Undoubtedly one of the most interesting bands in France. From the bottom of the heart, thank you !"
"V.K.S" (France) - Dec. 96 - DRAKUS
"...Sound hallucinations tainted with industrial emulsions. Sensorial fervor, the machines themselves become hot, human !"
"BUNNYHOP" (U.S.A) - July 97 -
"Stroboscopic loop-to-loops leave you bamboozled and then laughs ha ha !"
"SAMSON ALL AREAS" (Holland) - Dec. 96 - Swie TIO
"...The fourth album from these French "transmusicals", full of hypnotic rhythms and tiny noises, bleeps and plops, with brutal eruptions of sounds.
A bit like Yello, but different."
"ROCK SOUND" (France) - Dec. 96 - Frank FREJNIK
"..."Le grand cornet" makes use of all the experiments the band has been working on since 1986 (soundtracks for film shorts, recording with African bands, production of a radiophonic play...) to take the form of these dark and threatening 50 minutes."
"IOYE" (Holland) - Apr. 97 - Stijn WUITENS
"...Rhythms from the belly of a drumcomputer are edged by psychedellic experiments and heavy bass strings. Lyrics are in English or French, anyway the monsters can start dancing."
"L'INDIC" (France) - Nov./Dec. 96 - Sylvie C.
"...Repetitive rhythms, sound gurglings, noise layers soothed by a generous bass and excited by an anarchical guitar, the whole of which results in an uncontrollable sound collage."
"RAYGUN" (U.S.A) - May 96 - Stereolab Interview ...
"...artists like Double Nelson transcend the French restrictive musical tradition..."
"LES INROCKUPTIBLES" (France) - Dec. 96 -
"...This record has something primitive and, apart from the technology used for its recording, it spreads an ambience of skilful brutality and prehistoric chaos."
"LIBERATION" (France) - Feb. 97 - Gilles RENAULT
"..."Le grand cornet", a fricassee of more or less familiar sounds (coughs, bird singing, breathing, guitar, various machines...) and hardly negotiable sinuous track, hardly assimilated (for those who would be anxious to center the object), simultaneously mutant funk rock (Sick), an industrial wasteland (Coeuss), or a fanfare for an anti-atomic shelter (Vomitif) into which the vocals, now female, now male, try to clear their way, somehow or other."
"RAGE" (France) - Feb. 97 - Philippe ROIZES
"...a sort of damned diverted white dub which swarms out of the speakers. Bouncing bass lines, sounds full of invention that you would never imagine being recycled in a song, saturation blasts, floating claustrophopbia, sustained rhythms, transvestied vocals, instrumentals and ostensible lyrics, collected objects ... D.N finelly reorganizes a mess of throw-outs."
"LONGUEUR D'ONDES" (France) - Jan. 97 -
"...Unidentifiable and cabalistic, they deliver, record after record, excerpts of their own ever-mutating odd musical fashion. Just as you have put them into the synthetic punk register, they turn into an electro-experimental universe which is full of gargoyles and other soft-focused creatures from a hybrid musical world."
"HIFI VIDEO" (France) - Feb. 97 -
"...They build a universe of violence, trance, chaos, climates, colors and anguish through the 17 tracks of good, rich, daring, full of contrasts, and humorous music which never gets you bored."
"GUITARE & CLAVIERS" (France) - Feb. 97-
"... I listen to a great deal of French music, some pop from the sixties
like F. Hardy , and i also dig Double Nelson, it's really very weird but interesting."
"ZIPPER" (France) - Jan. 97 - Anne and Julien
"...halfway between industrial and wild sampling. The vocals are muttered, ghostly. The music is jammed with noises, screams and "sticky" UFOs. "We'd like our music to be rich, daring, full of contrasts and climates, a music which can evoke images, violence, trance, colors, chaos..."
"SAMSON ALL AREAS" (Holland) - May 97 - Swie TIO
Avant-gardist but danceable ? Totally mad but irresistible ? Passionnate but merry at the same time ? Double Nelson is all that and even more, a French equivalent of a "feel good movie". A grumbling, whispering, boiling "gnome-disco" which forces you to move your feet and provoke an earthquake on the dancefloor. Boom ! Ouch !