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L'incroyable Verite by Sebastien Tellier


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The debut release on Air's Paris-based Record Makers imprint, L'Incroyable Vérité is the first full-length work by Parisian gutter-philosopher Sebastian Tellier, a messy-bearded Lothario with a red carnation in his jacket pocket and a song of relentless misery waltzing through the chambers of his broken heart.

This record might have been mixed by Quentin Dupieux--the real name of squelchy techno puppet-master Mr Oizo--but in many ways, L'Incroyable Vérité (literally, "The Incredible Truth") is a very traditional work.

Entirely beatless, it consists mainly of sad Moog-led lullabies, with Tellier presiding over each in a mournful vocoder-treated waver. In the spirit of Air, this is an attempt to make modern technology sound defiantly out of time. But L'Incroyable Vérité grimly disposes of Air's light touch: "Kissed by You", a piano ballad, is marred by a sudden blitz of twisted-string electric guitar distortion; meanwhile, "Trilogie Femme" finishes with fearfully curtailed female screams.

Tellier's art displays a chillingly brutal streak that echoes Serge Gainsborough's descent into darkness, bitterness and misanthropy.

Easy-listening? Not here, but for the brave-hearted, L'Incroyable Vérité is an enigma you'll want to crack. --Louis Pattison

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