Katerine is a French man who has quite a muse, each new project he is involved in is different from the last. Music isn’t his only gig either, he’s an actor, does soundtracks, written and directed a movie and is releasing a book next month. No wonder he usually takes 3 to 4 years to make a record, the guy has got a lot going on. With all of diversity of his musical output you would think he’d run out of new things to try (he hasn’t tried a heavy metal opera yet). Since 2005’s excellent Robots Apres Tout I have been waiting impatiently for his next album. If you haven’t heard that record get yourself to the France section in your record store and get it. Air, Justice, and Daft Punk all pale in comparison to Robots, the record is an amazing techno, freakshow in a jewel case! While there is no new Katerine album on the horizon, there are two new albums out that he’s been involved with, neither of them sounding anything like Robots. They are both more sedate, and delve into the more classic style of French music, but with a few strange twists of course.
The first Imbécile, is a record conceived by Olivier Libaux who is one half of the French duo Nouvelle Vague. Libaux, like Katerine, doesn’t like to stick with one genre, thankfully this is not a bossa nova/new wave kinda thing. It’s a little French musical about four friends at a dinner party. Katerine plays one of the dinner guests at a house by the sea. The music is reminiscent of early Katerine albums like L’Education Anglaise and Les Marriages Chinois, very simple, very French chanson.
The second album is a jazz record where Katerine provides vocals in a collaboration with Alban Darche. This one reminds me of Serge Gainsbourg’s early jazz recordings. If you like jazz and French chanson, then this is the thing. The sound will conjure a shaded side street cafe, on a perfect summer afternoon. Very nice stuff that really showcases the smoother velvety side of Katerine.
I’ll wrap up with one more song, not by Katerine, but the Legendary Jim Ruiz Group. Jim Ruiz wrote an ode to Katerine back in 1998 on the album Sniff, recognizing his genius way back then. Katerine even does a cameo on the track (he’s they guy speaking French).
Katerine picture up top is from blog de graffica.