French composer Chassol releases new album ‘Ludi’ via Tricatel, along with video for ‘Rollercoaster (pt. 2)’17 January 2020
French composer Chassol has released new album ‘Ludi’, out now via Tricatel, continuing proceedings off with latest single ‘Rollercoaster (pt 2)’. The audio-visual maverick’s new work takes inspiration from The Glass Bead Game, the utopic novel by German author Hermann Hesse, in the admirable multidisciplinary form of a double album, film and a live show. ‘Ludi’ follows Chassol’s previous LPs ‘Indiamore’ and ‘Big Sun’, as well an impressive writing credit for Frank Ocean (Blonde) and producing Solange’s ‘When I Get Home’.
With ‘Ludi’’s latest single ‘Rollercoaster (Pt.2), Chassol taps into the sensation of vertigo to create a musical synthesis for the adrenaline rush of a day at the theme park. The track’s alternately fluttering and hammer-like piano dovetails with the screaming of riders captured on Chassol’s GoPro recording of a ride in a Tokyo amusement park. With the footage wholly unauthorised, the found sounds featured on ‘Rollercoaster (Pt.2)’ – which also features guest vocals from Alice Lewis, Thomas de Pourquery and Alice Orpheus – survived a necessary sprint to escape the park’s Japanese security guards. Deemed “an enigmatic and charming work” by The Line of Best Fit, you can read their full review of Rollercoaster (pt.2) here: https://www.thelineofbestfit.com/new-music/discovery/chassol-rollercoaster-pt2
Since 2011’s ‘Nola Chérie’, Chassol (French-Martinique, Paris native Christophe Chassol) has been finessing his own experimental ‘ultrascore’ approach to composition, in which – inspired by Steve Reich and Hermeto Pascoal – vocal and ambient sounds from video footage are harmonised in perfect sync to create a living, breathing soundtrack. His experiments caught the ear of Diplo, who in turn put Frank Ocean onto Chassol’s 2013 album, ‘Indiamore’. Ocean – at the time working on ‘Blonde’ – then tapped Chassol to join him at Abbey Road, to develop speech harmonisation on the album (albeit following a period during which Chassol ignored his calls, having no idea who Ocean was). Shortly afterwards Solange – having literally Shazam-ed his music at a performance installation – sought out Chassol to produce several tracks on 2019’s ‘When I Get Home’.
Driven by a gleeful impulse to reshuffle the deck and informed by expansive work scoring film, television and ads, ‘Ludi’ finds Chassol taking his quest to arrange reality even further. It is the simple idea of play that underscores this wide-ranging project – where music, mathematics and aesthetics all intermingle. According to sociologist Roger Caillois, ‘play’ is broken down into four categories: chance, vertigo, masks and competition. In early prep work for ‘LUDI’, Chassol filmed several real-life scenarios illustrating these themes, then applying his ultrascore process, drawing out the melodies he heard in the clips. Harmonies are drawn from anything & everything: basketball players in the suburbs, a gaming arcade in Tokyo, heck even a roller coaster.
PRAISE FOR CHASSOL
“Has developed an approach to making music that’s unlike any other artist working today” – CRACK
“We’re hooked” – London in Stereo
“I am so in love with this man” – Gilles Peterson
“An eclectic genius who reminds you of Steve Reich, Ennio Morricone or The Cure” – Le Monde