"Figures"

The legendary experimental pop outfit returns with a brand-new record entitled Figures, written, conceived and produced over the last couple of years by Marc Hollander (founder of Aksak Maboul and of the Crammed label) and Véronique Vincent (former singer with The Honeymoon Killers).

Figures is a double album containing 22 tracks and interludes, resulting from the flow of creative ideas which arose after a gap of over thirty years (see the Aksak story overleaf). Drawing again from the multiple sources which have always inspired the band (from electronic music and pop to experimentation, jazz, minimalism, contemporary classical etc), Aksak Maboul transcends and reconfigures them with its inimitable style, to create an impressive, rich and unclassifiable piece of work.
 
Seamlessly weaving electronic and acoustic instrumentation, improvisation and programming, songs, beats, found objects and sound collages, the album works as a labyrinth, full of secret passages and interconnections. Figures clocks in at 75 minutes, thus deliberately shunning the laws of instant gratification and the myth of today’s reduced attention span: the Aksak Maboul aficionados will surely be happy to engage in an immersive session of deep listening (in two halves), in order to enjoy the album’s many layers and details.
 
Véronique Vincent & Marc Hollander wrote the album together, by following parallel courses with their own respective internal logic, while remaining closely connected. Enigmatic and finely chiseled,  feeding on her love for painting and literature, Véronique’s texts form a dense fabric which mirrors the sonic kaleidoscope assembled by Marc, who wrote and arranged all the music (aside from a track co-written and sung by Véronique and Julien Gasc). Véronique also made the drawings and paintings which illustrate the cover and inserts.

The two protagonists recorded most of the album in their own studio, with contributions by the young members of Aksak Maboul’s current live line-up: Faustine Hollander (bass, vocals, co-production), guitarist Lucien Fraipont and drummer Erik Heestermans. Also featured are performances by several friends and guests, including revered improvisor Fred Frith, Tuxedomoon’s Steven Brown, members of Aquaserge (Julien Gasc, Audrey Ginestet & Benjamin Glibert), former band members (including Michel Berckmans and Sebastiaan Van den Branden), and several others.

Figures will be followed by the release of a 7”EP entitled Charles F. Bleisftift, containing variations on four of the album’s tracks.





AKSAK MABOUL Figures (2LP, 2CD, digital)  - stream/get it HERE




TRACK LIST & CREDITS 


1
1. Among The Naeporu
2. C’est Charles 
3. Taciturne
4. Silhouettes
5. True, False, Fictive
6. Histoires de fous 
7. Sophie La Bévue
8. Formerly Known As Défilé
9. How Should One Read a Book?
10. Spleenétique 
11. Sgraffites

2
1. The Untranslatable
2. Retour chez A. 
3. Dramuscule
4. Excerpt from Uccellini
5. Un Caïd
6. Martial Arts for Boys 
7. Un certain M.
8. Ins Bleistiftgebiet
9. Fatrasie pulvérisée
10. Qu’est-ce que c’est “mot “?
11. Tout a une fin



Véronique Vincent: vocals
Marc Hollander
: keyboards, sax & clarinets, percussion, programming, field recordings, etc.

and
Faustine Hollander
: backing vocals, bass, guitar
Lucien Fraipont: guitars  
Erik Heestermans: drums

With contributions by
Michel Berckmans: basoon
Steven Brown: vocals
Fred Frith: viola, guitar
Julien Gasc: vocals
Audrey Ginestet: backing vocals, field recordings
Benjamin Glibert: guitar, backing vocals
Jordi Grognard: clarinet, bass clarinet, flute
Martin Méreau: drums, percussion, vibraphone
Sebastiaan Van den Branden: guitar, percussion

Produced & arranged by Marc Hollander
Coproduced by Faustine Hollander
Mixed by Gregory Bauchau


Music written by Marc Hollander, lyrics by Véronique Vincent

except Fatrasie pulvérisée: lyrics by Véronique Vincent, music by Julien Gasc, arranged by Marc Hollander, and The Untranslatable: music by Marc Hollander/Faustine Hollander 

Music written by Marc Hollander, lyrics by Véronique Vincent,
except Fatrasie pulvérisée: lyrics by VV, music by Julien Gasc, arranged by MH, and The Untranslatable: music by MH/ Faustine Hollander  





AKSAK MABOUL IN THE PRESS


The Belgian experimental group Aksak Maboul were - and are - out there on their own… revelatory (The Quietus, UK)

On the reissue of Onze danses pour combattre la migraine:
A significant record… way ahead of its time
(Gilles Peterson)
A truly extraordinary thing, prescient yet off-piste (The Arts Desk, UK)
One of the most beguiling albums released during the post-punk era… bafflingly timeles (FACT, UK)
A stew of imaginary world music, rock, electronics and proto-techno
(MOJO, UK)      

On the reissue of Un peu de l’âme des bandits :
As if Pere Ubu got together with Faust to cover Igor Stravinsky (Byte FM, DE)
Eclectic, inventive, inquisitively playful and surreal… simply indispensable (The Wire, UK)
Jazz meets avant-classical, while brittle electronics spray delirious nonsense into the air (Uncut, UK)
The Belgian art-rockers [in] a knotty experiment that freely slams together the sounds of contemporary classical music and free jazz (Pitchfork, USA)

On Ex-Futur Album :
A floating pop dream (The Quietus, UK)  
An electropop miracle... Too avant-garde at the time, perfect for today (les Inrockuptibles, FR)
Adorably unfinished and delightfully imperfect (Vogue, DE)
So ahead of the curve it sounds like it was recorded yesterday (The Crack, UK).

On recent live shows :
A miracle: the resurrected Aksak Maboul unfolds a brand of synthetic, fleshy pop, with fat, enchanting grooves, sparkling melodies and lyrics. Between echoes of Brigitte Fontaine circa ‘Comme à la radio’ and strains of Tom Tom Club. (Télérama, FR)
The pop immediacy of the songs gets enriched by experimental tangents, between electronic music, krautrock and jazz, which raise the bar to unexpected heights (Le Soir, BE)


Releases

AKSAK MABOUL - Figures
AKSAK MABOUL
Figures
cram300
VéRONIQUE VINCENT & AKSAK MABOUL - Ex-Futur Album
VéRONIQUE VINCENT & AKSAK MABOUL
Ex-Futur Album
cram014
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
cram002