Pas Chic Chic, 12″

There’s something about kraut rock that just gets me.   Where I often find myself bored with minimalist electronica that simply drones on and on, repeating the same melodic and rhythmic passages into a numbing, sterilized pulp, the deliberate thrust of a good, weird kraut rock groove can make me weak in the knees.  

“This is some mind-altering shit, man!”

“Right on.”

On this digital EP, aptly titled 12″, Pas Chic Chic, do the “psychedelic, experimental kraut rock” thing about as well as anyone these days.   Opener “Allez Vous Faire Influencer” sets an especially tasty precedent, utilizing a militant bass and drum kit march, outfitted with savory synth squiggles and some choral “oohs” and “ahhs” that could be either live vocalists or samples from an ancient mass. Whichever is more artsy.  

Their mystique doesn’t hurt matters, either–the four-piece line-up includes former members of Set Fire to Flames, Fly Pan Am, and, most notably, post-rock legends Godspeed You! Black Emperor (a band with some otherworldly clout of its own).   And they speak French, which always counts for serious art school points.  

Unfortunately, after the rousing start that is “Allez Vous Faire Influencer”, 12″ loses a bit of urgency, displacing drive in favor of atmosphere, which isn’t their strong suit.   Isn’t it some kind of unwritten music rule that you can’t include an interlude on a three track EP?   Also, isn’t there a better title out there than…well…”Interlude”?   The track is a rather pointless two-and-a-half minutes of synth colors.     The 15-minute “Premier Souffle” begins with an equally blank pallet of atmospheric keys, finally blooming about half-way through with lazy programmed drums and blares of deafening organ.

As pleasant background music, this works just fine.   But Pas Chic Chic is at its chic-est when they crank up the kraut and really let loose.

Ryan Reed –

[Rating: 3/5]

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