Following the release of his latest album, Oh !, Ezéchiel Pailhès hands his creations over to a cast of remixers for an EP that takes his experimental chanson into exciting, eclectic new realms.
Building on his previous two albums, Oh ! found Pailhès further exploring the intersection between poetry and music, with his conservatoire-trained piano playing setting the mood and the song-writing verve of his many years in Nôze lingering in the background.
Parisian duo Archil & Leon are renowned for their innovative instrument designs and their productions. Here they bring their highly customised creative flair to “J’aimerais tant” with a subtle treatment that works glitchy processes into the romantic swoon of the original track in a tastefully inventive manner.
Sharing Pailhès’ accomplished approach to instrumentation, Oakland-based husband and wife duo The Saxophones gently unfurl a bed of bittersweet guitar, flute and sax underneath Pailhès’ downcast rendition of Victor Hugo’s words on “Oh ! Pourquoi te cacher ?”.
The one and only Chloé exercises her evocative twist on minimal wave as she orchestrates an array of synths to re-frame “Sans l’oublier”. The words of 19th Century poet Marceline Desbordes-Valmore, as sung by Pailhès, are embellished with a richly noirish composition that borders on the baroque.
Gautier Vizioz is a talented Parisian beatmaker who collaborates with a broad tapestry of local artists. His own interpretation of “Oh ! Pourquoi te cacher ?” glides between dream-pop reverie and deeply rooted funk – a fittingly luxurious backdrop to the song.
Brandt Brauer Frick take on “Wolf 359”, one of the album’s few instrumental tracks, and infuse Pailhès’ keys with their own organic timbres played with an electronic attitude. The lines blur between the motorik pulse of the core rhythm section, the skittering percussion played on top and the interplay of synthesised tones and raw piano.
Finally, long time Circus Company compatriots dOP take on “Bien certain” and inject the track with their club-ready nous. Using a language of tension and release expressed with a technicolour palette, they tease a big-room energy out of Pailhès’ intimate songwriting and Shakespeare-derived lyrics.