Listen: Des Ames Libres’ Self-Titled Debut [ESP]

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As far as music goes, you can tell Des Ames Libres know and love their German goth, ’80s synth, new wave, and industrial. All of these gods smirked at them collectively and out of that ray of darkness spawned their self-titled debut album. If you’re not interested in any of these genres, then I suggest you stop reading right now. If you’re a sucker for dense, moody, dark rock that you can also dance to, then get ready for a feast.

Des Ames Libres is the project of Parisian transplants David Law and Daid Jornet, and Barcelonan Germán Sánchez, who, according to their press release, were brought together by a bundle of circumstances having to do with space, time, and death. This makes Des Ames Libres a record fit for dank clubs, dirty dance floors, and stormy nights. Their music is a mixture of sounds perfected by Bauhaus, Nine Inch Nails, Front 242, KMFDM, and Depeche Mode; yet, what makes it interesting to me is that they left those sounds in their natural state. There is no 21st century spin on it, no intent to mask the legacy that made it possible…it’s unapologetic in its pastiche and I love it.

The record is all about atmosphere-–having been created with a mixture of analogue synths and organic instruments—sometimes making it sound like catastrophe is at your doorstep and sometimes sounding incredibly soothing in its doom. On the other hand, this can also make for a pretty linear record, with very little variation from track to track.

It’s a drawback that their voices are so processed that you can’t really hear what they’re singing; it’s sometimes in French, sometimes Spanish, and sometimes in English. That may be intentional, to give more of a front-and-center presence to the music, but the themes they say that guide them (space, time, and death) deserve a little more than vocoder-heavy vocals. When taken for what it is, the record is a great accomplishment by some really talented musicians. Very few bands right now are making this type of music and doing it as well as Des Ames Libres, but a little more invention wouldn’t hurt next time.

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(Photo Credit: Marc Guillon)