Following the death of Jean-Marc, one of its members, no one could have said whether Rien Virgule would continue. Nor did the main people involved, Anne, Mathias and Manuel. What response can you give to such an ordeal?
As the three of them played together again, it became clear that the same incandescent energy was pulsing between them, the same energy that irrigated the grooves of their two previous albums, the same energy that fascinated the audience at each of their concerts and made them events. And with it came the desire to get back to work and embark on a third album.
While the title of the album is a line taken from a haiku (‘the consolation of violets’), a poetic form of radical brevity, it chooses to stretch out, to free itself from the constraints of simple vinyl and to fully spread its wings to reach an unprecedented scale.
Just as a haiku can be uttered in a single breath, Rien Virgule’s music unleashes a multitude of them, shaped by the careers of its members who, like White Noise, have long dabbled in experimental practices before delivering their highly personal vision of pop.
The full extent of the band’s ambition is clear here: thanks to a veritable science of storytelling, they are finally able to blend written tracks, where you can hear the melodic wisps of a Robert Wyatt, with others from totally improvised sessions. The latter are cut up and reassembled, in the manner of Tel Marcero for Miles Davis albums, to the point of composing laboratory fictions with magnetic tape.
Jean-Marc, with his cobbled-together instrumentarium, has bequeathed his share of chaos to the other members of the group, who continue to delicately resonate a jumble of metal and broken glass like so many sparks of life.