Circuit Sweet Interview, Feature, Reviews

Rad Releases ’16- Quadrupède – Part 1

December 20, 2016

It’s that time once again, as the countdown to the end of 2016 quickly approaches we take a personal look back on familiar names, features and musicians’ best releases of the past 12 months. In what has been a crazy year of highs and lows it’s the releases that have pulled a lot of people through the year. Now in it’s 6th year, Circuit Sweet will be hosting takeovers from the featured artists/musicians/labels and promoters of the site with their personal top 5 releases of the year.

Our annual end of year tradition is where we let our favourites take over the site to tell us the records that have made their end of year lists, their favourite events/gigs and what we can look forward to from them next year.

Our next take over and the first of two parts comes from an act who blew us away last year when we finally got to catch them live. Appearing at this years Arctangent Le mans based duo Quadrupède once again topped our favourite live performances of the year. We are so excited about the thought of new material from the pair and we hand over to musician Joseph Smalley to talk about his year in music. 

Top 5 releases of the year and a brief reason why

Abe – Paddy Roy Bates


This record has something of it’s own, a very personal touch that can be heard throughout the different tracks. A mix of melancholy and solitude is what came to mind when I first listened to it. This guy is completely unknown yet has more to offer than most of the major ambient records released this year.

Kaumwald – Hantasive
This project is one of the many other projects of Ernest Bergez, an amazing french forward thinking musician that takes inspiration from various ancient traditional music and blends it in the most organic way with contemporary electronics. This is a more noisy industrial techno-ish project, and this is probably the most accessible record.
Anna Meredith – Vermints

This is really fun music to listen to, with twisted pop melodies and weird arrangements.
I love the instrumentation on this one, it’s really odd : bass sounds are played by cellos (Oliver Coates !) and tubas, some really fast arpeggios played by clarinets and electric guitars you’d usually expect to be played by synths. A really fun and odd take on modern classical. Plus they totally kill it live.
Electric Electric – III

They’re one of the originators of the french noise rock scene with Papier Tigre, Pneu and Marvin. This new album is a beautiful breakout from what they’ve done in the past, while preserving their own unique style. These new tracks are dark in quite a disturbing way but it’s nice, with tribal repetitive drum patterns and dark ambient synth swells. I like the way the tracks disolve and blend into each other, which makes listening to this record a real experience from start to end.
Mica Levi & Oliver Coates – Remain Calm

I love and admire Mica Levi, she’s one of my favorite musicians.
This collaboration with Oliver Coates (he also played cello for the amazing “Under the Skin” soundtrack, composed by Mica) has something new and fresh that I haven’t heard yet in other ambient / modern classical records. Mica’s grimy electronic touch blended with Oliver’s unusual way of playing the cello works beautifully. Trully inspiring.
Tyondai Braxton – Oranged Out
This EP was released in the most quiet way, as a pay-what-you-want download on bandcamp, with proceeds supporting the work of Everytown for Gun Safety.
It includes 5 beautiful experimental tracks, with some slightly more catchy tunes than on the previous HIVE1 record.

Death Grips – Bottomless Pit


I lost a bit interest of Death Grips after Government Plates. Didn’t quite like the Powers That B and the Jenny Death / Fashion Week thing.
But this record really goes back to basics, sounds even more angrier with more guitars than previously, yet sounds almost as catchy as the Money Store.

The best gig you have attended and why

Outblinker – Uto’pitre
A nice quantity of synths and electronic gear on stage, with an amazing drummer for a heavy-transy-kraut result. All of that played super loud. Mezmerizing.

Sourdure – Escale Experimentale Teriaki @ Allonnes
Solo project of Ernest Bergez (see the Kaumwald review above). His personal take on traditional Auvergne regional songs, played with a violin and various DIY electronic devices. Really enjoyed his show.
Anna Meredith – Wine Nat White Heat
See above description about the Varmints record. It basically applies to the live context also. She plays with a real backing band with extremely good musicians : a super good drummer, two cellists, a tuba player, an impressive guitarist and herself on keyboards / clarinet / electronics and tons of other quirky stuffs. GREAT !
Adam Betts – ArcTanGent
TTT drummer playing solo, launching beautiful electronic soundscapes as he goes. Super nice and impressive.

Oren Ambarchi & Will Guthrie – Wine Nat White Heat
They played just one long piece of improvised music for about 40 minutes.
I was amazed at the way they were really connected and fed off each other as they both improvised their way through the piece. This was the opposite of boring, I was gobsmacked.
Electric Electric – Escale Experimentale Teriaki @ Allonnes
Second time I saw them playing the tracks off the new album. This time was a little more hectic and the sound wasn’t as good as the first time, but the energy and urge to play these songs I felt was better.

The best show you have played this year and why

QDRPD @ Lyon – Festival Riddim Collision

It was probably the last “T O G O B A N” concert, we played with Electric Electric and Francky goes to Point-à-Pitre, two great french bands. The sound was great, the place was great and the people were super nice and enthusiastic.S T Ø J @ Les Siestes Teriaki
It was my second solo concert with my new experimental project S T Ø J. It took place in an abbey, the stage was right in the middle of a cloistered garden, with people sitting in deckchairs all around it. It was very chilled out and I felt quite confident despite the lack of experience with this project.

Highlights of your year

Probably succeeding in playing live with my solo project S T Ø J. It was a challenge but a fun process. I really wanted to manage to have a little sense of performance and danger in playing electronic music live, and not just stick with static sequences and not take any risk. So I decided to basically put all my studio gear on stage and find out how I could bring a maximum of life into played and sequenced stuff. It’s a real pain to set up all this gear, but I definitely think it’s worth it !

Artist/Band to watch for 2017

Partout Partout, with Florian from 100%chevalier and Marlon from Pauwels. We’ve had a listen at the record they’re about to release, you’re going to love it !

Plans for the New Year

Release my first S T Ø J EP (it’s being mastered right now !) and play some gigs / tour with this project.

Write some more new exciting stuff for the new Quadrupède record and gradually build a totally new live set !

A huge thank you to Joseph, you made our year seeing you live again so wishing all the best for the next one. Looking forward to the new material from yourselves and S TØ J- Keep an eye out  for part 2 soon!

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