How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
The French trio TOCpart of the musicians collective Muzzix in Lille, breaks all the rules and musical barriers on this, its second release, same as it did on its debut, Le Gorille (Circum Disc, 2009). These three skilled improvisers move freely between contemporary music, experimental pop, art and psychedelic rock, noise and fiery jazz with reckless energy, as if aiming to close the cultural gaps between the followers of composer Igor Stravinsky and those who listen to Sonic Youthall done with inventive elegance and healthy doses of adventurous passion and humor.
All the compositions are joint efforts, and all the instrumentsFender Rhodes played by Jérémie Ternoy, drums by Peter Orins and guitar by Ivann Cruzmorph into one another, creating unique sonic stamp for the trio. TOC was serious about the title of this album, as the pulsating, tribal-trance rhythmic pattern of the opening "Obsessive Compulsive Disorder" screams, intensifying all along. "Downward Trend of Increase" follows, cooling the atmosphere into a dreamy, progressive rock suite that evolves patiently, with nuanced passages. Things then change with the experimental noisy texture of "Iron to the Buzz Top," that still manages to stress an infectious rhythm, as it does again with the minimalist and surprisingly gentle "You Had a Nap."
The second part of You Can Dance (If You Want) is more energetic. It begins with the fiery title track, blending the legacies of late guitarist Sonny Sharrock
with the hypnotic outbursts of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, climaxing into a raw explosion. "French Tough" continues with throbbing rhythmic energy similar to the opening composition, but with a clearer, solid rock base. "I Danced With Her (A Dense Weather?)" still retains the energetic level but opts for provocative sonic explorations with looser interplay. Only on closing "That's What She Said" does the level of energy chill down, while still retaining the experimental attitude, collecting spare sounds into densely repetitive textures.
TOC offers a brilliant and inventive blend of genres, sounds and attitudes.
Track Listing: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; Downward Trend of Increase; Iron to the Buzz Top; You Had a Nap; You Can Dance (If You Want); French Touch; I Danced With Her (A Dense Weather?); That's What She Said.