For several years I have felt the need to explore the innards of rock improvisation and progressive music in order to compose a music influenced by “60’s acid rock” and the vulgarly named “Jazz Rock” with all its variable appearances through out 1973 to 1982 (to be equally vulgar).
I was equally influenced by the work of more contemporary musicians such as Marc Ducret, as well as the Belgian group « Aka Moon » without trying to go in the same direction. That is to say without pursuing their research into extreme rhythmic quantization.
In this project «kolkhöze printanium” the music is a raw material to be molded in the moment collectively, whilst free improvisation is paramount.
The choice of the type of rhythmic construction was fundamental to the projects success. Indeed, Philippe Gleizes (drummer) with his rhythms being deep and heavy whilst at the same time developing a real sensuality, was to directly orient many of my decisions in the composition for the album. I can also say the same for the lyricism of Hugues Mayot on the saxophone when it came to the choice of colours.
With the spoken voice being explored in all its musical resonances in my previous CD « Voices Project », it was a natural step to create a link between the two projects by again featuring the voice as a key element.
Hence I needed to develop an alternative concept than that of writing pieces, improvising progressively and adding lyrics… Although that could have been nice too!
Next, something occurred to me. Rather an urge to develop a concept around the idea of blind determination. I thought of industrialization, work on the assembly line, American Taylorism against the Russian Stakhanovism; the revolutionary communism against the religion of the great capital and yet both giving birth to a planned, centralized economy, totalitarian political organizations and causing social devastation.
"Kolkhöze Printanium" is a project which owes homage to all the forgotten, the disillusioned, the injured, the youth, the victims, but also to those men and women, fair, utopian, our ancestors from wherever they may have come … these people that one respects for having been taken in one way or another into the cogs of the machine, and those who fought, in a quest for the truth, to dream, defend, and construct a better situation.
It’s not about basing one’s writing on historical facts. “Kolkhöze Printatium" is not a pedagogical project, and I’m not a history teacher. Rather it is based on the emotions which may have provoked collaborations, music, and works of art. In a more global manner it is inspired by a communal residual imagery, the fruit of history, of cinema, of media, and that which has reached us by the prism of our own society.
Two works seemed particularly representative of this collective imagery (albeit a little blurred), of this ambivalence (and interdependence) between Kolköze and printanium. The first: “Ouvrier and kolkhozienne”, a sculpture by Véra Moukhina (1937) which was made for the cause of propaganda. It features a couple of partisans with hammer and sickle raised in their hands on their way to the kolkhozes with an expression of total joy. It is a troubling image of fervor, indoctrination, and quasi religious lies.
The second major work was the film “Stalker” by Andreï Tarkovsky. It presents the wandering metaphysical discussions of three seekers on a quest for the absolute knowledge as they cross a ruined post revolutionary wasteland. They follow their guide along hidden roads and through grasslands tarnished by discarded scrap metals hulks known as “the zone” beyond which there is “the room” supposed to be the epicenter of knowledge: perhaps the grail itself. The film features interesting camera work to embellish the dialogue in the film. For example, there are long zooms that accompany the metaphysical debates held by our hiking seekers, following a quasi religious intellectual continuum.
« Kolkhoze »here evokes violence, suggests brutality, blind determination and the tireless repetition of our darkest thoughts.
« Printanium », defines the part of the song known as the “lead” (as described by Gilles Deleuze). ”The voice leading a song directed according to its position within the context of the territory”.
I wanted the possibility to develop the direction of the song and lead in complete interaction in relation to the musical framework. Printanium consists of drawn out, thin, airy themes, whilst at the same time being songs of freedom.
Hence the music of Kolkhoze Printanium is dark and yet brings hope at the same time. It is the fruits born from the freedom taken by the musicians without compromise or preoccupation to please the listener, to recount their condition, situation and difficulties of being human.
The term « Kolkhoze Printanium » describes a certain contradiction between the need to develop a repetitive, Stakhanovism music and yet also a deep study of improvisation where the musician has the freedom to choose his own direction at any moment (“the lead”). It’s an adventure, a need to live, create and share something great, in which each musician functions as an individual within the group.