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Theoreme and the slow burn of Bruit Direct Disques

After a few weeks in international postal limbo we’ve received a box from French label Bruit Direct Disques. While supposedly tracked boxes of records going missing is frustrating, at least it happened to a label whose output does not have a use-by date. Typically, you’d be expecting an overview of the latest goods from the label, but I’m going to (for good reason) focus on one of the label's releases that sits well outside the constantly shrinking release cycle… 

Recorded mid-last decade somewhere in France, the one-woman-band known as Theoreme  has created a real-deal high point in 21st century Post-Punk, Art-Rock, Neo-No-Wave, whatever you’d like to call it. When listening to this record a woozy feeling comes over me, a sensation I'd place somewhere near listening to Aaron Dilloway or Fabulous Diamonds. While cerebral and hallucinatory, there's also a vital energy here that'd make me place it alongside personal desert island discs like the debut from Yoko's Plastic Ono Band or Alternative TV's The Image Has Cracked. Fans of F Ingers, Cured Pink, YL Hooi and Exek take note.

I can't truly gauge whether this record's effectiveness is a result of refined taste and curation, or a result of circumstances, intuitive and allowing one's personality to shine through. I have a strong hunch it’s in the latter camp. While this record almost feels like a precursor to the contemporary approach of being between post-punk song and ambient textural experimentation, there’s something unwieldy here. It’s not effortlessly cool, or able to accrue chic-points for art-school obtuseness, it feels totally beyond cultural capital positioning. 

While Bruit Disque Direct don’t, and wouldn’t want to, have the capacity to create like the next music industry success story BDD creates a space for a degree of anonymity, mystery and privacy. Details on, or a social media presence of Theoreme are scarce. Something I miss in an increasingly entrepreneurial and bureaucratic independent music landscape.  

The good reason why I have decided NOT to write about these intriguing three new releases from BDD is, a) the silly season had made it hard for my mind to truly process and new audio information and b) releases of Bruit Direct Disques have a tendency to either very slowly reveal the depth of their magic, or one day five years on from first purchasing/listening finally click. 

Label head Guy Mercier has taken special care to paint an abstract picture of these new releases and these short texts have my mind racing... 

Z.B. Aids – Gestalt LP 

A bad torrent file for the theme from Miami Vice rings in your ears as you struggle to get out of an elevator that's crashing real fast while you were waiting for a phone call from Bill Orcutt. Enjoy life while it lasts.  - Guy Mercier

Terrine – Les problèmes urbains LP

I am sitting in a room crying over an episode of Les Shadoks. A machine springs out of the TV and wipes the tears away to the sound of Sweet Exorcist’s Test Four. All my friends hate Autechre and I am laughing in a room. – Guy Mercier

Al Karpenter – Musik From A Private Hell LP 

Beyond riot music from the MC5 to Sham 69, in front of Arthur Russell’s Death and after Klein’s Lifetime, Al Karpenter and Mattin come out from behind the mask of Lou Reed’s Lulu. – Guy Mercier

If that doesn’t get the mind cogs turning a little bit, I don’t know what will! Anyways click on this embedded hyperlink to see the in-stock catalog of one of the most rewarding record labels of my lifetime! Until next blog, do keep on rockin’ in the free world! - Nic