Bleed, the first album by Paris-based cold-pop duo, aswefall, left an indelible mark when in appeared in 2005 on Kill the DJ, with enthusiastic reviews (Les Inrockuptibles, Libération, Nova, Magic, etc) and an advertising showcase (the track Between us was the Air France official theme-tune for four years).
Then, with the idea of taking their songs on the road to confront a worldwide audience (Japan, England, Spain, France), Clément Vaché and Léo Hellden dreamed up aswefall into a rock “gang”, a fully fledged group of musicians equipped to present the repertoire live on stage. Nothing was then more natural than that, fired with all the enthusiasm, freshness and excitement of novelty, they should return to the studio to produce some attractive, electronic pop songs.
This was the trigger for a healthy process of self-examination which culminated at a concert with Chloé in Barcelona, where the “gang” was reduced once more to its barest minimum; Léo and Clément, guitar and drum-machine. The original performers realised that aswefall could only truly exist in this minimalist, obsessive and austere incarnation, much beloved by the many guitar-and-drum-machine duos signed up by the Factory label in the 80s. So a whole hard-disk was wiped, the members of the “gang” went their way, and aswefall could finally embark upon a new start, on a healthy basis fully understood from A to Z.
Now signed up on the Swedish label isolering, Clément Vaché and Léo Hellden have infused in their new album, Fun is Dead, a new rhythmicity and a blue-tinged melancholy, at the meeting point between their cold, pop and ambient influences. It is a personal, faithful snapshot of the group with all its best imperfections on show and its implacable will never to accept the Diktat of the outrageous lust for amusement, sequins, the soulless fusion of culture and consumption. Like photography, music is not obliged to dress itself up in counterfeit happiness and dazzling colours to exist, to speak in melody. No even in 2010.
Passionate, original and sincere, Fun is Dead turns out on hearing to be the ideal sound-track to a certain post-clubbing vision for a generation of rockers and ravers looking for a change from extremes of all kinds.