- - 8/108/10
French post-punk band Versari released their sophomore album, Sous la Peau, late last year. The bristling, literary-heavy record was well received and showcased a band who’s strong vision on how music should be played, rang loud and clear. The three-piece have returned with a four track EP celebrating album tracks ‘Brûle’ and ‘Des Images’, reworked and remixed by an impressive list of contributors including Gareth Jones (Depeche Mode, Einstürzende Neubauten, Wire, Erasure).
Opening with a a reworked radio edit of the album original, ‘Brûle’ is a slick, nuanced post-punk song espousing the impressive levels of songwriting and skilfully delivered musicianship that Versari do so well. Lurking below the cerebral style of spoken word lies a deep, caustic outlook of the world we inhabit, Versari subtly demonstrating their disdain. Where the Brûle EP stands out from previous incarnations is the accomplished remix work by talent such as the aforementioned Gareth Jones alongside Erica Nockalls (The Wonder Stuff) and School Daze – who has taken up the mantle of deconstructing another album track, ‘Des Images’.
Gareth Jones’ remix is a work of pensive beauty. Jean-Charles Versari’s vocals take on almost inhuman characteristics, while remarkably maintaining an emotive, heartfelt, poignancy amongst the synth heavy samples and the monochromatic beat. ‘Des Images – Gadget remix’ by School Daze fires off in a completely different direction. The metronomic, thunderous beat and wailing, sampled soundscapes rekindle memories of German experimental electro and techno: think Kraftwerk cheating on Can with Rammstein. Meanwhile, Erica Nockalls ‘Doom remix’ is a fitting end to a profoundly experimental record. A chilling, baroque, goth-infused mind melt. Claustrophobic in nature, the ‘Doom remix’ is a paranoid manifestation that burrows its way deep into your psyche.
Brûle is an impressive alternative take on what was an album stand out. The band’s willingness to play with genre and experimentation goes against the standard culture of ‘fitting’ into a preconceived industry box. This is to the band’s credit. Remix records are notoriously difficult to successfully produce, often profoundly underwhelming, which makes the results of Brûle even more impressive.
The Brûle EP by Versari is out now.