Despite having about seven years in the musical French scene, Rendez-Vous has remained as a little open secret. One that Paris has jealously guarded. But this quintet it is impossible to contain.
Rendez-Vous are Francis Mallari, Elliot Berthault, Maxime Gendre, Simon Dubourg and Guillaume Rottier. Since the release of their first EP in 2014, and after working with Ben Greenberg (The Men, Uniform) on their second EP, Distance (2016); the French group has attracted the attention of fans and the press.
With Distance, the band not only introduced an explicit declaration of intentions but a proposal that crystallised their vision. The six tracks that build this album are a musical exorcism inspired by Fad Gadget, Sad Lovers and Giants, Dance Society and Nitzer Ebb.
Two years later, Superior State (2018), will arrive. A record produced by the group and released under Zappruder Records. The date was set, February 15th at Sala Razzmatazz, and Sixth June were the opening act for their debut in Barcelona.
Sixth June: Synthpop out of tune
Sixth June is a synthpop duo by Laslo Antal and Lidija Andon. It is a double output from the corners of art academies –Laslo is a filmmaker and Lidija is an actress– who seek to give life to a relationship of creative symbiosis.
In 2010, the original Belgrade duo moved to Berlin and debuted on the German label Genetic Music with Everytime. In 2013, after the release of their third EP, Pleasure, they were defined as a project with a “very 80s sound but, at the same time, very contemporary“.
While the rhythmic bases by Laslo highlight the textures of the synthesisers, the vocal accompaniment is unfortunate. Sadly, Lidija‘s voice was out of tune throughout the concert.
Despite her impeccable presence, there is something in her voice that allows us to presume that their albums are the result of a meticulous production. The same happened with Laslo when he decided to join Lidija on one of the songs. The result was a rugged live full of unforgivable mistakes. Especially for a musical project with almost a decade of history.
The Superior State of Rendez-Vous
Introducing a debut album after such powerful Eps can be a double-edged sword: Or it exceeds expectations, or the emotion becomes a disappointment — nothing further than that. The overwhelming presence of the French quintet demonstrated the great post-punk revival in recent years.
Rendez-Vous is emerging as the next great musical export after La Femme. A mix of cold wave and post-punk that feeds on totally explosive energy. We came across a wall of sound that emerged from the room — accompanied by the unspoken violence in Francis Mallari’s voice.
The single Straight On The Line, released independently in 2017, was the one chosen to start the show. An agonising subject balancing between tortuous electronic layers and a martial rhythm. One of the many references to The Soft Moon that will be unveiled during the concert.
Rendez-Vous: Beyond a déjà-vu
The strength of Superior State and the pertinence of the band sail between déjà-vu and the feeling of listening to something new de facto. We would find ourselves dealing with the different edges of this superior state. Starting with Lakes followed by Double Zero, Paralyzed and then the single that gives the album its name, Superior State.
From repeating the mannerism of the Protomartyr singer or the use of the drum machine like The Soft Moon, Rendez-Vous is a project that, while referring to its influences, feels honest and overflowing. In one hour, we witness a catharsis that invoked the demons that haunt contemporary society.
It was a concert that condensed an imposing musical and lyrical tour de force. The blackened post-punk scene, the burned-out riffs and the powerful voices are not new. But, Rendez-Vous gets up with an identity of its own that includes guitars that stab around spasms and bass lines like barbed wire.