Bizi Gara is the debut album of painter/musician Baptiste Ibar. The album was conceived and recorded largely in the same small Brooklyn studio where he painted the “Disastrology Calendar” series for Michel Gondry’s 2006 film, “The Science of Sleep” In the corner opposite numerous completed and half-finished canvases are a computer, an acoustic guitar, a set of congas, a sampler, and various other instruments whose plucked strings, tapped skins and pressed buttons are collaged in much the same manner as the paintings.
“Bizi Gara” means—in the Basque language—“we are alive.” What does it mean to be alive? For those who are first drawn to the words, Baptiste’s 15 songs sketch life through relationships, both intimate and societal. For those who are grabbed by the rhythms and melodies, the album travels from spiky, no-wave jitters to atmospheric gypsy cadences.
Baptiste loves to make people dance, and "Anxious" with its four on the floor and gripping bass line, will move even the most anxious to cast off inhibition and hit the dance floor. Just as rhythmically enticing, "Spider Bite" is an obvious obsession sung with a mysteriously cool detachment. "Make Love Again", a hymn-like waltz, subtly recaps all the traditions Baptiste uses to say simply “bizi gara.”
Baptiste was born October, 11, 1977 outside Paris; he has lived in the United States since the mid-1980s and is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. His paintings are in private collections in France, Mexico and United States. He has toured as far as Cuba with the now disbanded worldbeat group, Tigerface.