Founded in 1977 by Marc Hollander with Vincent Kenis, this is the seminal Crammed band, which explored several directions later followed by the label ((set up by Hollander three years later). Each of Aksak's three albums to date is stylistically different, yet shares a common foundation with the two others. The band's story unfolded in five episodes so far:

1.
The project started in 1977, when producer Marc Moulin commissioned Hollander to write and record an album for his ephemeral label Kamikaze. MH was soon joined by his friend Vincent Kenis, and the pair proceeded to playfully fuse and deconstruct all kinds of genres to create their own musical world in the Onze danses pour combattre la migraine LP, which soon became a cult album, and seems retrospectively to have mapped out the way for the various directions which have been explored since then by the Crammed label. 

2. 
Released in early 1980, Aksak Maboul's 2nd album Un peu de l'âme des bandits was recorded with an extended line up featuring a.o. Fred Frith and Chris Cutler (of Henry Cow and Art Bears fame). More intense and experimental than Aksak's debut, "Bandits" contains complex written sections, free improv, and a wild variety of elements: drum machines, bassoons, sampling before sampling, Bulgarian voices, tango, Turkish, crypto-punk or pseudo-Varese music... During that period, the band became associated with the RIO (Rock in Opposition) movement, of which this album is still viewed as “a pinnacle” (All Music). The album reached #3 in the NME's top ten European albums of 1980 (alongside Yello, The Nits, Steve Reich and Faust!).

3. 
In '80, Aksak Maboul went through a little-documented avant-No Wave phase after enrolling three members of Brussels band Les Tueurs de la Lune de Miel, as well as vocalist Véronique Vincent. The new line-up then recorded the "Honeymoon Killers" album (1982) and continued performing under that name until 1986. During a long period, Aksak Maboul only made a few appearances under that name (one third of the first Made To Measure volume, original music for fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto's shows), but the spirit lived on, as both of the original protagonists playd a very active role in many Crammed productions, either together or separately.

4.
2014 saw the release of the mythical, 3rd Aksak Maboul album, which was announced ever since Crammed Discs' first catalogue, back in 81. It's the avant-electropop opus now known as "Ex-Futur Album", which was written, recorded and unfinished in 1980-83 by Marc Hollander and Honeymoon Killers vocalist Véronique Vincent in collaboration with Vincent Kenis.  The project had gradually evolved into a strange artefact, closely mingling Véronique's dreamy vocals and deceptively bubbly lyrics with Marc's musical ramblings. Electronic pop music with genre-wrecking leanings. The album was finally assembled/mixed/retrieved from demos & cassettes, was released in late 2014,  with a slight delay of... 30 years (under the name Véronique Vincent & Aksak Maboul), was enthusiastically received by audiences, medias & many young musicians, and was granted a new lease of life with the tribute album "16 Visions of Ex-Futur" (2016), comprising cover versions and remixes by the likes of Flavien Berger, Aquaserge, Laetitia Sadier, Forever Pavot, Burnt Friedmann, Lena Willikens, Hello Skinny,  Jaakko Eino Kalevi etc… as well as two "auto-covers" by the 2016 line-up of Aksak Maboul.

5. 
Meanwhile, the reception of Ex-Futur Album convinced Véronique Vincent & Marc Hollander to form a new live incarnation of Aksak Maboul. They started to play live shows in early 2015, for the first time since the '80s with a new Aksak Maboul line-up including three people who weren't even born when the songs were recorded: Sebastiaan Van den Branden & Christophe Claeys (both from Amatorski) and Faustine Hollander. From 2015 à 2017, they performed 35 shows in several countries around Europe, where they enchanted audiences with a powerful, rich and modern set, drawing freely from the latest five decades in the history of pop music.

They also performed a series of special "AKSAK MABOUL 'REVUE':" shows in Paris, Brussels, Frankfurt, Cologne and London, on which they collaborated onstage with  Laetitia Sadier, Jaakko Eino Kalevi, Julien Gasc & Benjamin Glibert from Aquaserge.  This ephemeral 9-piece band played Aksak Maboul music as well as some of the guests' own material.

Aksak Maboul are currently working on new music, for an album scheduled for 2019.

Outro:
As summed up in 2017 by writer Mikey IQ Jones, “the roots of Aksak Maboul's appeal and longevity lie within the collective's shapeshifting lineup and their chameleonic aesthetic abilities; the group's ever-mutating sound is akin to a sonic möbius strip, always digesting and recontextualizing itself, where seams and edges show but continually fold in upon themselves as the madness evolves. The best part? That evolution hasn't yet ceased.

Reissues:

Onze danses pour combattre la migraine
was reissued on vinyl in 2015, in its original, 1977 artwork, with extensive, revised liner notes and three downloadable bonus tracks. 

 "Un peu de l'âme des bandits" is being reissued on vinyl in January 2018, with a large booklet including documents & notes by all participants, as we as a bonus album (CD & digital) containing 78 minutes of unreleased live & demo recordings by 17 of the bands successive members and collaborators.

News

Aksak Maboul "Un peu de l'âme des bandits"


Deluxe vinyl reissue for the first-ever Crammed release

Aksak Maboul 'Revue' show in London


Feat. Laetitia Sadier, Aquaserge & Jaakko Eino Kalevi, this Saturday!

Aksak Maboul 'Revue'


Special shows feat. Laetitia Sadier, Aquaserge & Jaakko Eino Kalevi

Crammed's Autumn Releases Announced!


"Blue Velvet Revisited" (Tuxedomoon/Cult With No Name), Maïa Vidal album, Amatorski single, Tuxedomoon 10-LP vinyl box, vinyl reissues of Aksak Maboul, Honeymoon Killers

"Chez les Aborigènes", the first single off "Ex-Futur Album"...


... the avant-pop opus from 1980-83 by Véronique Vincent & Aksak Maboul

Soon out: "Ex-Futur Album" by Veronique Vincent & Aksak Maboul


At the extreme pop end of Aksak Maboul's broad musical spectrum, an album will soon be coming out with a slight delay of… 30 years!

Live Dates

No current live dates available!

Releases

AKSAK MABOUL - Ex-Futur Album
AKSAK MABOUL
Ex-Futur Album
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AKSAK MABOUL - Onze danses pour combattre la migraine (vinyl reissue)
AKSAK MABOUL
Onze danses pour combattre la migraine (vinyl reissue)
cram011
AKSAK MABOUL - Un peu de l'âme des bandits
AKSAK MABOUL
Un peu de l'âme des bandits
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AKSAK MABOUL - Onze danses pour combattre la migraine
AKSAK MABOUL
Onze danses pour combattre la migraine
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