It's not easy to describe a band that blends so many different influences without falling into a specific genre. Papillon's new CD, "Soledad", offers a showcase of the group's various sonic landscapes, from the velvet-tailored pop of "Les Papiers Glaces", to the twilight tones of "Mystery". This is the place where hypnotic beats and sultry vocals meet the bottom end of classic dub, and the sheen of contemporary electronics.
As "Soledad" opens with its title track, followed by the dark and groovy "Miranda", the album goes its way between dreams and nightmares, like a soundtrack for a picturesque dance floor. Combining French and English in his lyrics, Mikael Jehanno leads the band through an intercontinental journey that ends with the fireworks of Papillon International Airport, as the sampler drags the band somewhere out of this world.
"Soledad" also illustrates the magic symbiosis between Papillon and producer Simon Widdowson. Recorded in two sessions (June 2001 and May 2002) at Widdowson's own "Are You Listening" studio, the album features, besides Mikael Jehanno, Roger Campos (guitars and samples) and Nick Mariani (drums), the keyboards of Ian Miller, the voice of Kelly Grohs, and the low frequencies of Brian "Miami Bass" Capati.
Between machines and live music, Papillon "Soledad" sets up a new style, one could perhaps call "erotic pop", beyond the cliches of modern lounge or contemporary electronica. "This is an absolutely essential album for any jet-setting playboy on the make," says John Chandler of the Portland Tribune.