Tohu Bohu (Deluxe Edition) Rone
- 2Bye Bye Macadam04:25
- 3Fugu Kiss04:47
- 4La Grande Ourse03:41
- 6Let’s Go (feat. High Priest)04:06
- 7King of Batoofam05:59
- 9Icare (feat. Gaspar Claus)05:12
- 11Room 16-18 (Bonus Track)02:47
- 12Beast, Pt. 2 (Bonus Track)06:26
- 13Tag (Bonus Track)04:16
- 14Let’s Go (feat. High Priest) [Rone Wild Edit] [Bonus Track]03:20
- 15Pool (feat. John Stanier) [Bonus Track]07:15
- 16Shadows (Bonus Track)01:43
Info zu Tohu Bohu (Deluxe Edition)
Ever since he debuted on InFiné in 2008, Castex has pushed a style of music that's as cinematic as it is melancholic. Tohu Bohu (French for 'hurly burly') drops three years after his first LP, Spanish Breakfast. In the years since then, Castex has moved from Paris to Berlin, a change that he says affected his state of mind and creative process, if not his taste in music. He explains:
'Even though Tohu Bohu was made entirely in Germany, I don't think I have been influenced by any of the music that gets played here, at Berghain say. But if it had been made in Paris, I think it would be a completely different album. I'm always a bit anxious, stressed out in Paris. In Berlin, I'm much calmer, far more relaxed. That's the kind of influence Berlin has been having on me, day after day, as a musician.'
The album shows Castex working once again with Vladimir Mavounia Kouka, an illustrator and director who's short film La Femme a Cordes featured a soundtrack by Rone. Kouka designed the album's cover art and overall 'visual identity,' which you can see in the trailer below. Castex is also working on a visually enhanced live show with Studio Fünf, who produced the animated video for his 2011 track 'So So So.'
RONE (otherwise known as Erwan Castex) is one of the most acclaimed French musicians on the electronic scene. He studied film at university and worked on a number of productions whilst pursuing music in his spare time. InFiné came across some of his tracks on the web (“Bora”) and got in touch with him. From then on, things went very fast: he released his debut EP (2008), performed his first live show at the Rex Club and released his first album, ‘Spanish Breakfast’, in 2009. With the release of ‘Tohu Bohu’ in the autumn of 2012, things reached a whole new high. Now living in Berlin, the artist’s creative juices seem to be flowing like never before, combining a melodic straightforwardness with the firmly harnessed power of analog soundscapes.
The album has made Rone a cult figure in his own country, gracing the cover of one magazine after the other and being saluted by Trax magazine three times in 2012 (Best French Artist, Best French Album and Best Music Video). French music legend Jean Michel Jarre has been effusive in his praise for the young man. His videos for “Parade” and “Bye Bye Macadam” have been picked up worldwide. His live performances have developed into a large-scale sound and vision show entitled “Module”, bringing together the various video-makers (including Studio Fünf, Dimitri Stankowicz and Valdimir Mavounia- Kouka) and stage technicians who have played a key part in defining Rone’s visual identity.
‘Tohu Bohu’ also revealed Rone’s openness to experimentation, including a hip hop inspired track with vocals from High Priest from Antipop Consortium (“Let`s Go”) and a beautiful collaboration with cellist Gaspard Claus (“Icare”).
While in Berlin, Bryce Dessner asked Rone to add his electronic and production flourishes to the new album by The National’s (‘Trouble Will Find Me’ released in May 2013 4AD)., joining an esteemed roll- call of collaborators on the record, including Sufjan Stevens, St Vincent, Richard Parry (Arcade Fire) and Mona Marie Invie (Dark Dark Dark).
“Tohu Bonus” is a six-track collection: two alternative versions, three new pieces and one interlude. An essential companion to the original album and and looking forward to the next step in the Rone discography. “With each new release, I feel I’m getting closer to striking the balance I’m aiming for between spontaneity and technique”.
￼“Tag” single-handedly embodies this new-found harmony in composition, being rougher, more sin- gular and less indebted to post-production tricks. “I’m very proud of this track. It was completed in the space of two hours and I wouldn’t change anything about it”. The boy’s passion for bright, light- catching interludes won’t come as a surprise either. “If I could make an interlude- only album, I would. They are not subject to structural constraints and there is a real freshness about them.” In their primary form, they make perfect album closers (“Shadows”). Several minutes longer, they become glorious ambient introductions (“Room 16 - 18”). Sometimes, they take on the shape of a simple, short and cat- chy loop; one such track caught the ear of drumming powerhouse John Stanier (Battles/Tomahawk/ Helmet) leading to intense studio collaboration session and producing standout track “Pool”.
Rone, Keyboards, programming
Rone (Erwan Castex)
Despite the many years still ahead of him, Rone (otherwise known as Erwan Castex) has already come a long way, being one of the most acclaimed young French musicians (he’s just turned 32) on the electronic scene. After passing his Baccalauréat, Erwan was not too sure what he wanted to do for the rest of his life and took up film studies at university. He looks back fondly on this most formative period but, when not in lectures, he would assiduously cultivate his prime passion: music. After obtaining his MA, he started working on film shoots in various roles (including assistant director, production coordinator and set decorator) while continuing to make music in his spare time. And then one day – InFiné – spotted some of his tracks on the web (Bora in particular, which was featured on Agoria’s At The Controls mix) and got in touch with him. From then on, things went very fast: he released his debut EP (2008), performed his first live show at the Rex Club and released his first critically-acclaimed album, Spanish Breakfast, in 2009. Rone’s career had just taken off.
Three years have passed since the release of Spanish Breakfast and now his next album, Tohu-Bohu, is coming out for Fall 2012 via Infiné – a label that clearly knows the meaning of the word supportive. Tohu- Bohu (hurly-burly) is an unexpected, even startling title, coming from an artist whose music is in no way shambolic or garish. He explains : “Over the past three years, I have met a lot of people and also been on my own a lot; I have lost myself and found myself again, working frantically; three years of doubt but enthusiasm too. During that time, I have learnt to structure the mess inside me.“Tohu Bohu” is a representation of my own chaos, which I have harnessed, worked my way through and committed to record.” And above all, over these past three years – which saw Rone play live in the most prestigious venues and festivals (from Panorama Bar to Sonar, not forgetting Dour festival) – two major events occurred: the young man turned thirty and, after growing up and taking his first musical steps in Paris, moved to Berlin in March 2011. He feels very much at home in Berlin, a city he can’t stop raving about, far from the non-stop party clichés. “It isn’t really because of the music that I moved here, it had more to do with being fed up with Paris. I stayed in Berlin for a month in June 2009 and had the best time ever. I fell in love with the atmosphere straight away: an amazing peacefulness, which you can’t fail to appreciate when you come from Paris... And sure, I was able to sample the Berlin nightlife at various parties, but what really appealed to me was the city’s distinctive laid-back attitude. In fact I fell for that combination of serenity during the day and effervescence at night.”
A similar kind of feverish calm emerges from Tohu-Bohu’s ten tracks, which elegantly and consistently navigate between dreamlike electronica, hypnotic ambient and melodic techno. Peering through here and there are also rhythmic elements borrowed from hip-hop, the genre Erwan cut his teeth on as a teenager. No surprise then if High Priest of Antipop Consortium make a vocal appearance on “Let ́s Go”. Instead of jumping on the Berlin bandwagon by converting, out of the blue, to minimal techno or manufacturing a series of Berghain-calibrated tracks, he decided to stay true to his own tastes and the labels he reveres, which tend to be more British (including Warp, Ninja Tune and Border Community) than German. Above all, he tried to write music that would resonate with him deep down; “Even though Tohu-Bohu was entirely conceived in Germany, I don’t think I have been influenced by any of the music that gets played here, at Berghain say. But if it had been made in Paris, I think it would be a completely different album. I’m always a bit anxious, stressed-out in Paris. In Berlin, I’m much calmer, far more relaxed. That’s the kind of influence Berlin has been having on me, day after day, as a musician. So I was also much more efficient for the three months or so we were recording: I felt no pressure walking into the studio and wrote far more spontaneously. I didn’t feel anything was holding me back.”
Tohu-Bohu also saw Rone and illustrator/director Vladimir Mavounia-Kouka’s working relationship grow closer: having collaborated on the short film “La Femme à Cordes” (for which Rone wrote the music) and the video for “Spanish Breakfast”, they teamed up once again here with ‘Vlad’ creating the album’s entire visual identity. Was it a case of desperately running after the Gesamtkunstwerk (total work of art)? One thing is certain: Rone pays great attention to the visual aspect of his music. This is also attested to by his strong ties with graphic designers crew Studio Fünf, who brought us the video for track “So So So”, featured on an EP released in 2011. Ties that should very soon materialise in the shape of an exclusive live sound and image show, to be first performed in October at the Cultures Electroni[k] festival in Rennes.
On the musical front, although Tohu-Bohu is on the whole decidedly ethereal and much more dream- than rave-inducing, it isn’t merely a record to be played at home, in the secure confines of a lounge or bedroom. Filled with lascivious languor and gradually built-up crescendos, it slowly but surely induces a trance-like state, and there is no doubt as to the potential of some tracks (Fugu Kiss and Parade in particular) to make a serious impression – as the evening gets going or in the first light of dawn – on non-conformist dancefloors worldwide, Berlin included. (Words: Jérôme Provençal)