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. However, the background that surrounds the quintet has made it impossible to contain.
Rendez-Vous members 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 specialised press.
With Distance, the band not only introduced an explicit declaration of intentions but a proposal that finally crystallised their vision. The six tracks that build this album are a musical exorcism inspired by Fad Gadget, Sad Lovers and Giants, Dance Society or Nitzer Ebb.
Two years later, the album that will bring them to Barcelona would arrive: Superior State (2018), it’s a record of ten songs 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 band formed 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 their aesthetic concerns and, at the same time, 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 by the magazine Peek-A-Boo as a project with a “very 80s sound but, at the same time, very contemporary“.
While the rhythmic bases by Laslo are full of ornaments that highlight the textures of the synthesisers, the vocal accompaniment is unfortunate. Sadly, Lidija‘s voice was out of tune throughout the concert making their debut a failed attempt.
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 for a musical project with almost a decade of history.
The Superior State of Rendez-Vous
Waiting for the first album of a band with such powerful Eps is a double-edged sword: Or they exceed expectations, or the emotion becomes a disappointment — nothing further from reality. The overwhelming presence of the French quintet demonstrated the great revival experienced by post-punk in recent years.
Without any doubt, 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 the voice of Francis Mallari.
The single Straight On The Line, released independently in 2017, was the one chosen to start. An agonising and galvanised subject balancing between tortuous electronic layers and a martial rhythm. One of the many references to The Soft Moon that will be unveiled throughout 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 ability to produce – thanks to alchemy – something new de facto. We would find ourselves dealing with the different edges of this superior state. Starting with Lakes and followed by Double Zero, Paralyzed and the single that gives the album its name, Superior State.
For the second half of the concert, the public was surrendered at their feet. Rendez-Vous is a project that, while referring to its influences, feels honest and overflowing. I’m talking about repeating the mannerism of the Protomartyr singer or the use of the drum machine as The Soft Moon. In one hour, we were participants in a catharsis that invoked the demons that haunt contemporary society.
It was a concert that condensed an imposing musical, lyrical and performance 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. A sharp post-punk, of guitars that stab around spasms and bass lines like barbed wire.