How to capture the elusive quality of a world with rooms you can walk into and see the color on the walls, a world created visually by a sonic landscape, a world that is as moving and as deep as the ocean, but also makes you laugh or think, like an old English comedy. This is the world created by producer, songwriter, singer Renee Cologne.
Influenced over the years by a vast variety of music, she has become a blender, a funnel for all she's heard and experienced. Starting with her father, a Spanish conquistador type and a hi-fi sound junkie and music lover. He had a record collection with as many personalities as Sybil, from Flamenco guitar music to Loretta Lynn to Stevie Wonder to Beethoven and more. Then there were the years that Renee actually listened to Top 40 radio and dreamed of one day being on the radio. But she has so far been saved from that fate by her love of the absurd and her discovery of the Beatles, Joni Mitchell, Bob Marley, Queen, Prince and U2. Her musical journey led her to strange and wonderful places: the tundra where she came upon Jane Siberry, the fjords of Iceland where she stumbled upon the Sugarcubes and Bjork, the pubs of England to have a pint with PJ Harvey and eventually to the Bulgarian Women's Choirs, which led her to tour Yugoslavia, twice. Finally, finding electronic music and technology, her transformation was complete. Armed with a computer and a mouse, she put her short attention span, need to multi-task and obsessive attention to detail to work, and she began creating what she calls "soundscapes."
The songs on THE OPPOSITE OF are at once familiar, with pop anthemic soaring hooks, not unlike u2, but more enigmatic, meandering and dense. Utilizing her early classical training, she began writing and scoring counterpuntal string lines over her industrial beats and pop songs. Pretty soon, horns started to make their way onto "tape." The live band grew to nine. But finally, as the glue to the puzzle, was her voice. A voice you want to get into and lay in â expressive, rich and sensual.
But there was another component to all of this: her mother's influence. Well, her mother's influence and the influence of David Bowie and Freddie Mercury. Renee had, shall we say, a flair for drama. Her mother, June, a seamstress and clown, gave her the tools and desire to sew and create her own "outfits." Boa's, platform shoes, halo's and hairpieces made from plants and household objects, nothing was sacred or safe from Renee's hands.
Emerging from her loft in the old Wonderbread Factory with THE OPPOSITE OF, she is probably the opposite of anything you'd expect from a "singer/songwriter." She is . . . not your ordinary girl.