Pascal Globensky: keyboards, synths, piano; Rémi Leclerc: drums, percussion, keyboards, turntable; Bernard Falaise: guitars, bass, keyboards, banjo, turntable
It is relatively perplexing to read that Cobra Fakir was created starting from “a few sketchy pieces” and morsels of improvisations swapped among the three members. The outcome is indeed as tortuous as any Miriodor rooter would expect in terms of arrangements – the guys could mark a nail’s head with rhythmic conundrums – but this time the tongue-in-cheek factor seems to predominate. A juggling clown who doesn’t miss a beat or a boutade, the same orchestral exactitude we’ve grown accustomed to over the decades (better not thinking too much about the fact that the original version of Rencontres, later reissued by this very label, entered my archive when I was 22 – sigh). And those immediately diagnosable RIO symptoms.
In spite of a lengthy propaedeutic work, a good number of episodes is defined by a concoction of weightlessness and wit, several winks of instrumental wryness thrown around as comical enigmas of sorts (are they kidding or what?). Benevolent arpeggios on the acoustic guitar flow into sinister riffs until a pathos of epic proportions is reached; in a nanosecond, all of the above gets nulled and voided by some strange unresolved melodic line that might anticipate a savage homicide in a horror movie. The whole punctuated by carefully selected petite noises and unannounced samples, and effortlessly formulated through a series of embroiled counterpoints and tempos replete with secret traps but still sounding quite transparent to the cognoscenti’s ears. There lies the ongoing intelligence of this band, particularly explicited in this occasion by the richness of tracks such as the sequential “Speed-dating Sur Mars” and “Tandem”. The art of making unpredictability appear as the most natural thing in the world.