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Nout: Live Album


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Nout: Live Album
Buckle up. Proceed with caution. As debut albums go, French trio Nout's reasonably titled Live Album is a riot of musicianship, foundation-shaking noise and fearless originality. The music purveyed by Delphine Joussein (flute), Blanche Lafuente (drums} and Rafaelle Rinaudo (electric harp) is invariably referred to in press releases as the missing link between Sun Ra and Nirvana, but perhaps Rahsaan Roland Kirk and The Chemical Brothers would offer better signposts. Suffice it to say, Nout tramples all over established genres like a herd of mythical beasts charging into battle.

The twelve originals were recorded at various European venues/festivals between July and December 2023. In the middle, at the European Jazz Conference in Marseille, Nout scooped the Europe Jazz Network's Zenith Award. This initiative of the EJN, Twelve Points Festival (Dublin) and Creative Europe recognizes remarkable talent in jazz/improvised music, and Nout is that alright.

Nout can sound like a conventional acoustic jazz trio, with pleasantly riffing harp, melodious flute and a steady beat, as on the intro to "La mare aux canards," but when they hit the pedal buttons, flute, harp and drums are weaponized, transforming the trio—with jarring suddenness—into noise-rock merchants of wicked intensity. Heavy metal thunder? On tracks like "Gross canards," "Inondation" and "Nuit de sabbat," where Joussein breathes, snarls and screams mercilessly into her flute, the electronics- filtered effect is more akin to Norwegian death metal.

But do not be alarmed. Well, not too alarmed. The musicianship, when it shines through is first-rate, lyrical too. Joussein's extended unaccompanied flute intro to "Miskine" evokes the rootsy jazz of the aforementioned Kirk, while her folksy lines over Rinuado's ethereal soundscaping and tumbling glissandi on "Slow" is a delight. Rinaudo also draws from a broad palette, from sweeping, Alice Coltrane-esque spiritual jazz and ambient textures to visceral rock guitar riffs, and from steelpan textures to organ sonorities. Lafuente is a powerhouse drummer, though finely attuned to the changing contours of the music.

"Gadget City" is a radical reworking of the theme from the popular cartoon Inspector Gadget, a sort of free jazz meets noise hybrid, though not without groove and humor. Rave beats underpin the driving "Sauvages," a percussive-intense variation on The Chemical Brothers; Do not be surprised to see Nout killing it at the biggest EDM festival near you. Guest musician Mats Gustafsson brings additional frisson to three tracks, his bruising baritone saxophone feeling right at home, particularly on the thumping, no-genre maelstrom that is "Noutsson."

Nout defies categorization, so why bother trying? The cheers, whistles and applause from jazz audiences in Denmark, Italy, Austria and France, Portugal and Romania tell their own story. Extraordinary stuff.

Track Listing

La mare aux canards; Inondation; Gros Canard; Miskine; Slow; Nuit de Sabbat; Les boulettes; Gadget City; Sauvages; The Last Train; ça sent le brûlé; Noutsson.


Additional Instrumentation

Delphine Joussein: electronic effects; voice; drums (9); Rafaëlle Rinaudo: drums (9); Blanche Lafuente: drum pad.

Album information

Title: Live Album | Year Released: 2024 | Record Label: Gigantonium



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