It's day 4 at the Trans Musicales music festival here in Rennes, France and it's also Saturday, which is the day the locals get all of their shopping done at the farmers market. The Lices Market is the second largest market in all of France and has been going each Saturday morning for over 4 centuries.
There are over 300 vendors each week selling anything and everything edible from beautiful fresh produce, fresh seafood, meats, cheeses, pastries, spices, to food trucks selling hot ready to eat food. We got up early to take everything in and get a little breakfast before heading to work.
The French have the right idea about weekends and food! I wish I could have done my grocery shopping and taken it all back home with me.
Back at the Musée de la Danse, we started our filming day with The Psychotic Monks from Paris. From their sound check, I would not have guessed what their performance would have ended up being like. Influenced by bands like Nick Cave, Joy Division, and Sonic Youth, their songs ranged from angular and melodic to atonal walls of sound and noise. But what really made the performance was the emotion and energy each member poured into it. Particularly the final song, began with an alternately tuned guitar giving a sense of unease, building in volume and anxiety as guitarist/vocalist Martin Bejuy poured gut-wrenching emotion for several minutes of what looked like a form of catharsis, an emptying of the soul. Once the song stopped, he quickly left the room, obviously needing a moment of solitude after what seemed like a very personal experience. It was a sight to behold, this live show.
If you ever get the chance to see them live, do it. Their 2017 debut album Silence Slowly and Madly Shines is available now and they will be releasing a new record at the end of March. Here's a clip from their sound check to tide you over until we release the video early next year.
The next band was a complete change of mood (and size)! The Nâtah Big Band are from right here in Rennes. They formed in 2014 originally as 6 members, with Gabin (bombarde, a traditional Breton wind instrument), Clément (accordion), Rémi (wood flute), Kevin (guitar), Daravan (bass), and Basile (drums). Bretagne (or Brittany) is the mid-western region of France that has a deep Celtic lineage, with its own original language before they were assimilated unwillingly in with the rest of France, forced to speak the French language, shares characteristics with their Celtic cousins to the north in the UK. This includes the origins of the types of traditional instruments and music played in this region, which is what The Nâtah Big Band does as well. In 2016, the founding members decided to put a twist on their traditional sound, adding a horn and rhythm section and expanding from six members to 17 and the Big Band was born.
Overlaying influences from artists like Kamasi Washington and Robert Glasper, the big band jazz and traditional Breton sounds create a really interesting and joyful mix! Their new record Caméléon was released this past February. Check out a clip of what they sounded like during their session here.
Our final band of the day was Amsterdam-based tropicalia-funk Arp Frique. Arp Frique is the brainchild and stage name of Niels Nieuborg, whose name is a reference to the Arp synth and Chic's "Le Freak". With a love of NYC disco and Caribbean music, he assembled an extremely impressive and diverse lineup of artists from around the globe to collaborate with including. djosa (arp synths, Netherlands), Erik Rittfeld (Korg, Surinam), Marilonah Copes (bass, Curcao), Emmanuel Afriye (drums, Ghana), Arp Frique (keys, guitar, vocals), Marissa Kwame (vocals, percussion, Ghana) and afro-funk legend Americo Brito (vocals, Cabo Verde).
They put on a colorful, and high energy show with lots of solos from each artist in the band showcasing each player's amazing skill while coming together to create walls of dancey singalong tropical/funk. The debut record The Colorful World of Arp Frique came out in April of 2018. See what they sounded like during there session with us here.
We'll be back for one final day tomorrow and the last three bands during Trans Musicales!