Davide Balula - Pellicule [Active Suspension - 2003]Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome in the ever-growing electronic scene a new-born genre : Folktronic. Yeah! Or at least thats what were told Davide Balula plays, a mix of folk ballads and electronic music.
Balula is French and Pellicule is his first album after a few 7 inches and a remarkable appearance on the recent Active Suspension vs Clapping Music compilation.
Pellicule is an odd CD. On most of the tracks, Balula plays on his guitar little lo-fi lullabies with at times a strong folk feeling. His voice fits really well the lo-fi mold: he is not a good singer at all but he manages to convey very touching emotions. And this although, more often than not, the lyrics are impossible to understand. The melodies are great, proving that it is possible to play great songs without having to be a highly skilled guitarist.
Some of the songs only feature guitar and voice, other tracks are pure sonic experiments, but it is when Balula mixes both lo-fi/folk with electronics that the greatness of the music shines through. Here and there, in the background, one can hear a few glitchy sounds, some clicks and cuts. Usually those sounds only accompany the music, adding more depth to the sound but sometimes they become real parasites (albeit interesting ones) and prevent the song to unfold, forcing it to remain static, giving to the listener a timelessness feeling.
Balula also enjoys strewing his music with various everyday life sounds: doorbell, footsteps, motorbike, animals, microwave... While the music is not pastoral per se, Pellicule sounds like an album on life in the countryside. You really can picture Balula recording his songs in a barn and then getting back to his room and toying with them on his computer.
Playful, original, extremely enjoyable, at times a little weird. Davide Balula graces us with a little sonic gem and position himself as one to watch in the future. For true pigeon lovers, but not only...François Monti