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Buvette
Elasticity Lara C Cory , October 15th, 2016 11:56

Cedric Streuli has been making music as Buvette since 2008. Having recorded his first three albums in complete isolation at his home studio in the Swiss Alps, Streuli's fourth and most recent release - Elasticity - was recorded at Point Ephemere studios in Paris. Describing the environment as "messy but functional with lots of gear, empty cans and visitors" the open door, more collaborative scenario made a huge impact on the way he recorded this album.

Beginning his musical career drumming with The Mondrians and Koudlam, Streuli began his solo work during the lonely off-season months in his ski-resort town. Making use of a sampler and a small Casio keyboard, three tunes uploaded to MySpace quickly led to his first solo gig. Naming his project "buvette", after what a friend deemed 'the ugliest word in the French language,' Streuli - who has only ever played alone - will be touring with a band for the first time — Ben McConnell on drums (Beach House, Au Revoir Simone, Air), Clémence Lasme on bass (Moodoid) and Richard Fenet on guitar (Calypsodelia).

Labelled as folktronica, DIY pop or even funky New Wave, with one foot planted firmly in Krautrock, Buvette has and continues to have a lively and unyielding rhythmic foundation. While the latest album follows organically from previous releases, Elasticity seems to have made a leap forward with regards to the vocal melodies: opening with 'The Seduction Parade', listeners will instantly recognise Buvette's signature delivery, prosaic and reminiscent of Kraftwerk's Ralf Hütter, but from the second track onwards, the vocals become more fluent and dynamic.

Elasticity plays out like a double feature soundtrack of a John Hughes teen flick and Ridley Scott thriller. Heavy synth and electro beats conjure a powerful 80s nostalgia, with tracks like 'Staring at the Lines' and 'Concrete River' boasting Duran Duran-inspired harmonies and guitar sitar licks, invoking Belew at his 80s greatest.

'Smoke Machine Control / SMC' is a highlight and, more than any of the other songs on this album, reveals Streuli's playful underside. What begins with a cautious EDM beat, gradually builds with layers of disco organ, vibes, vocals and a big round bass-pulse, opening up to a Euro-synth orgy replete with hand claps, cosmic lasers and a funky disco bass by golden-fingered David Gaugué. All the while Streuli's languid, repeating lyric anchors the soaring soul-funk.

A couple of instrumental tracks seem slightly out of place in the context of this record, leaving you to guess what experience led to these particular inclusions: 'Hijole', the album's longest track at six minutes and twenty-three seconds, is a Reich-inspired rhythmic, synth-horn odyssey worthy of the most epic 80s cinema, drawing from the Swiss drummer's interest in South American music; 'Are We There Yet', by contrast the shortest track at just over one minute, is an Asian-style piece of modal tranquillity in amongst the chromatic geometries and measured constructions of the rest of the album.

Having grown up listening to his father's music collection, filled with genres as diverse as Peruvian folk, Classical Indian, 70s rock and early house, Streuli has continued to expand on his existing musical panorama. And while he draws from a wealth of cross-cultural and historical musical influences, he channels this riot of diversity into a singular sound of synthetic portraits. Simple, psychedelic and highly poetic lyrics float in a strange calm on the shifting, textured layers of Strueli's rich rhythmic language. Nimble-fingered and not a little bit enigmatic, Streuli finds adventures everywhere and brings them to life with Elasticity, his best offering to date.

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