Release on march 9th, 2015
CD/DVD, vinyl and digital
After Nola Chérie and Indiamore, Chassol presents BIG SUN, last part of the trilogy.
Big Sun, Christophe Chassol’s brilliantly-dazzling fourth album, crowns his trilogy of ultrascores (a method he elaborated for harmonizing, symphonizing real life, the ‘here and now’), which started out in Creole-speaking New Orleans (Nola Chérie, 2011) before pursuing its route through India (Indiamore, 2013).
In March 2014, Christophe Chassol took off for Martinique, his family’s birthplace; these West Indies that epitomize everything he dreamt of expressing, from the purely personal to the perfectly panoptic. Hand-in-hand with the production sound mixer Marie-France Barrier and the sound engineer Johann Levasseur, the trio filmed and recorded a myriad of extraordinary encounters, scenes of everyday life, the carnival... a highly-evocative documentary that was to become the matrix of Big Sun.
Back in France, he composed, edited, rehearsed and created the 27 tracks of a 70-minute West Indian space odyssey. Big Sun is a weaveworld of birds’ songs and Pipo Gertrude’s whistling, Joby Bernabés poetry and a tête-à-tête with a lady mountain-dweller, Sissido and Samak’s rap, Mario Masse’s flute, the Fort de France carnival, conch shell echoes, the ocean’s music and the hullabaloo of a game of dominos. And sumptuous pieces of music like La Route de la Trace or Reich & Darwin, which suddenly spring up at a bend in the road and take our breath away.
After his X-pianos, Indiamore and Ultrascores, Chassol continues to move on, to revolutionize this harmonic language that instantaneously makes him stand out from the crowd. Refashioning tracks that are composed around three unvarying chords, he wraps his elaborate fabric around immutable melodies. Just like in an optical effect, his voice never deviates yet seems to change, to evolve through exceptionally-intricate variations in chords and combinations of sound.
The same holds true for rhythms, where Chassol flirts with the metrics and the bars composed with equated fluidity. Nothing is standardized yet everything appears to be normal, effortless technical brilliance is required to achieve such a result, and even more elegance to veil the complexity. There’s no metronome, no sequencer, everything is played as the words, the sounds, the bird songs and Chassol’s inner music unfold. Lawrence Clais, drummer on the previous albums, is part of the adventure and is joined, along the way, by Mienniel on the flute, Alice Lewis on vocals and Bertrand Burgalat on the bass.
Chassol plays, with a natural feel, a natural touch, pieces that are far from natural. Frank Ocean made no mistake when he chose Chassol for this upcoming album. Neither did Laurie Anderson, Terry Riley and Gilles Peterson. The Martinique illustrated by Big Sun shatters clichés, codes and musical genres. Captain Nemo meets Fender Rhodes... Chassol invites us on an ever-so strange yet superbly organized journey of discovery. What he sees through his sonar, the ways he interprets reality, well, we’ve caught his drift and are definitely on the same wavelength! Chassol is this magical, mystifying island and, we are too.