Wednesday 10 May 2023

'Bonjour' by De Phase

'Bonjour' marks the new album release from De Phase whose inaugural project finds its home on the French label, Plaisance Records.

Comprised of musicians Pablo Auguste and Kilian "K2" Rebreyend, the French duo established their credentials as part of a variety of various ensembles over the years before ultimately opting to step out under their own spotlight through the guise of 'De Phase'.  The group's Bandcamp page - perhaps humbly - describes their music as "jazz-but-not-jazz" which is something of a charming statement of intent.  There's little doubt that if De Phase's intentions were to have created a jazz record then we'd certainly have a sensational jazz record but their music is the culmination of so many styles and genres that it's a testament to Auguste & Rebreyend's abilities that 'Bonjour' is a record that is able to balance these influences in such perfect harmony.

Showcasing just as many aspects of electronic music as much as jazz and neo-soul, the aesthetic captured throughout 'Bonjour' proves to be very much in line with that of Plaisance Records.  Although a comparatively young label, the recording home has managed to unveil some excellent projects from a burgeoning pool of talent: hannah abdul's 'higher state' (released early-2023) presents a sublime and inspired ten-track selection of beat tape-styled instrumental hip-hop gems; Plaisance co-founder, Tom Manzarek, boasts a series of EPs conveying his affections for broken beat, house and club culture that have helped to set the label on its path for wider recognition.  Da Phase's all-encompassing and genre fluid take on their own music finds a perfect home with Plaisance as Auguste & Rebreyend confidently navigate 'Bonjour' into bold and innovative new territory.

'Bonjour' showcases an exciting array of long-time friends and collaborators featured across the album's ten tracks; a note of particular significance for Kilian Rebreyend with both his father, Guy Rebreyend, and his brother, Matisse Rebreyend featuring on the tracks 'Mr K' and 'Honey Love' on saxophone and vocals, respectively.  Vocalist Nancy Khadra guests on the excellent R&B-tinged 'Obsessed', singing alongside Ndobo Emma who make an excellent pairing in their own right.  With De Phase having helmed the production for Khadra's fantastic EP of last year - 'Le Téléphone Vert' - their reunion here manages to capture that scintillating chemistry one more time with one of the standout tracks for 'Bonjour'.  (On a side note, absolutely check out Nancy Khadra's 'Le Téléphone Vert' as it's brilliant!)

'Bonjour' boasts further highlights in the form of the noir-inspired 'Nightdrive' which is a great number to cite up against the nu-disco groove of 'Parallel Thoughts'; again, two tracks that masterfully demonstrate the album's versatility at seemingly quite different ends of the sonic spectrum.  A final mention goes to the album's closing number 'When It Comes to Me' featuring a solid guest turn from vocalist STACE et Jeenko.

Perhaps a project that has been long in development but one that was ultimately worth the wait.  De Phase have unveiled an enthralling and accomplished debut record that should go some way to introducing their skills to an appreciative and welcoming audience.

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