So No Tongues? *throws cellphone on the ground, proceeds to jump onto skateboard, breaking it*

Old-ass Vine references aside, today’s premiere should be a tasty treat to any enjoyers of experimental modern jazz. We’ve got two double basses going on at the same time, and what’s this? A trumpet played without a mouthpiece? Sure, let’s have it! Top it all off with extended techniques, understated percussion, an a delightful vocal performance by guest Elsa Corre, and you’ve got yourself a No Tongues cocktail à la mode.

Seriously, what these four gentlemen pull off on their instruments is a sight for sore… ears. Yeah. Let’s go with that. Bass techniques that sound like samples, actual samples, buzzing trumpet, and increasingly neurotic soprano sax mingle in a surprisingly digestible way (sharper tongues might even venture to call it catchy), mostly thanks to the way Corre pulls everything together with her commanding presence.

But oh! I got way ahead of myself there. Hi. Hello. No Tongues are a contemporary avant-garde (jazz) quartet from France. Their third album ICI (French for ‘here‘) was released back in 2022, and it was a quantum leap for the band in that it introduced electronic elements and field recordings into their ranks. It also featured a select group of guest musicians. What we’re premiering for you today is a live performance of said album’s fourth track “Parrandada de Entroido de Canizo”. I’ve spilled a few words on what awaits you beyond the play button above, so let’s hop right into it:

Did I promise too much? I suppose I didn’t. This is a captivating performance, and it’s a surprisingly faithful rendition of the album version. Except with that certain je ne sais quoi – we in the industry call it ‘live energy’. I’m definitely in awe of the way they pulled off what’s an already quite demanding song in a live performance, and they did it in a calm, collected, level-headed display of musicianship. Chapeau, madame et messieurs, this is experimental music how it’s supposed to be done!

Apparently this is an interpretation of an old Galician parody song about ‘authority figures, such as the Queen of Spain and chocolate‘. Hopefully this tidbit will further inform your enjoyment of this outstanding performance.

Anyhow, No Tongues were flying woefully under my radar until now, so I’m definitely glad to have taken this chance to discover them and their art. As I alluded to earlier, their current album ICI was released on November 4, 2022 via Ormo Records, Pagans Music, and Carton Records, and I urge, nay, beseech you to check it out. It’s a fantastic piece of music. You can find it on Bandcamp. While you’re at it, you may also want to follow the band on social media (Facebook | Instagram). A heartfelt thank you to anyone involved in making this premiere possible, and au revoir et bon printemps to our dear readers.

Featured image courtesy of Matthieu Fisson, header image courtesy of Emmanuel Ligner

Dominik Böhmer

Dominik Böhmer

Pretentious? Moi?

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