La Marmite Infernale

Lyon, France

Let it boil !

Pots are the best way to cook – for a long time – ingredients that amalgamate, create new flavours, dissolve and caramelise. As time goes by, the pots get stirred up and keep the memory of the past cooking; so if these are infernal, what can be said about them? Which ones cook all the dishes at the same time on their own, as if by magic? The ARFI (Association for the Research of an Imaginary Folklore) has probably not, by sorcery, freed the cooks from their task. Experts of the great orchestra’s tambouille, La Marmite Infernale gourmetly concocts a musical stew that holds to the body and nourishes the ears. Les Hommes maintenant! brings together eleven artists. It combines each of the collective’s influences into an extremely precise staging, without leadership or scattering.

There’s the ARFI’s knack for it. Solid and velvety arrangements on ” Ce que je sais d’elle “, signed Olivier Bost and Guillaume Grenard. They play marvellously the richness of the reeds (Jean Aussanaire, Jean-Paul Autin among others), but also traditional Auvergne songs dear to Clément Gibert. Moulded by the machines of Guy Villerd and Xavier Garcia, they become absolutely imaginary, as they should be. This record is a kind of synthesis of all that the collective knows how to do, in all contexts: that of tributes (the magnificent “Malachi” by Jean Bolcato), and that of images (“Very Blind Willy”, where one can perceive in the guitar’s breaks all the orchestra’s movements).

For this is indeed the somewhat frustrating aspect of this record. Les Hommes Maintenant! is – fortunately! – is not a masculinist claim; it is a look back at the history of ARFI, since it is in a way the “sequel” to Les Hommes, a show that is twenty years old and directed by Jean-Paul Delore. Very much focused on the image, the collective has developed this show with a studied scenography which could have been the subject of a DVD edition, as was the case for À la vie à la mort. However, no matter what the container, the smoking pot is still as tempting as ever. Serve hot, accompanied by a glass of Grapes of Foolishness…

Alfred Spirli (batterie, objets)
Christian Rollet (batterie, percussions)
Clément Gibert (saxophone, clarinette, clarinette basse)
Eric Vagnon (Saxophone alto, baryton)
Guillaume Grenard (trompette & trompette à coulisse)
Guy Villerd (saxophone ténor, laptop)
Jean Bolcato (contrebasse, voix)
Jean-Paul Autin (saxophone alto et sopranino, clarinette basse)
Thibaut Martin (batterie, percussions)
Olivier Bost (trombone, guitare préparée, objets sonores)
Xavier Garcia (sampler, traitements, laptop)