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Album Review

The incorrigibly flamboyant, unpredictably freewheeling jazz-techno-cabaret twosome Nôze would probably come off as smirking, wryly irreverent misfits in just about any context, but the Paris-based Circus Company (which is co-run by the duo's Nicolas Sfintescu, and which released their first two long-players) at least seemed like an appropriate match. Since they jumped ship to join the big boys at Berlin's more classically house-oriented Get Physical, the group's musical output has grown ever more gleefully Frenchy and circus-like, while its relationship to conventional electronic dance forms has grown increasingly tenuous. Hence, Dring, their second effort for the label (and fourth overall) seems in some ways utterly out of place — probably just the way they like it — even though it's also by some measure the smoothest, straightest, and most broadly appealing full-length statement they've made yet. It could also be guardedly described as their most "mature," keeping in mind that it's not without its share of characteristically nutty, salty bathroom humor (i.e. the warped, low-key masturbation blues of closer "Willi Willi," which comes complete with toilet flushing sounds), often delivered in Sfintescu's earthy, Beefheart-ian growl. But while hardly lacking in personality or playfulness, Dring largely tones down the overt goofiness (vocal and otherwise) in favor of a rich, polyglot musicality that draws fluidly and fluently from klezmer, Dixieland, Balkan brass music, cocktail piano balladry, chanson, and musette, Broadway show tunes, reggae, samba, cinematic scores, West coast cool jazz, and even, on occasion, house music (the slinky, Latin-tinged "Nubian Beauty," which includes perhaps Sfintescu's most unhinged, lecherous, Serge Gainsbourg-by-way-of-Tom Waits yammering on the record, also works in a submerged synth bassline that seems to wink at label buddies Booka Shade and M.A.N.D.Y. via their 2005 smash "Body Language.") It's a broad, far-reaching, but well-integrated palette that could lend itself equally well to a hearty multi-cultural dance party or a sophisticated (but never stodgy) coffeeshop soundtrack, and Dring would work admirably in either setting. Anyone seeking more of the quirky disco-house of earlier singles like "Remember Love" and "Love Affair" is liable to be disappointed here; indeed, Dring works so well as a big, lavish whole that few of its tracks are quite as effective when taken out of context (though bouncy, brassy opener "C'era Una Volta," with its infectious, curiously loping 3/4 groove, serves as an ideal tone-setter and calling card, notwithstanding its liberal "borrowing" of saxophone figures from Moondog's "Bird's Lament") — but it's hard to imagine anybody not getting swept up in the album's Bacchanalian outpouring of buoyant brass, sinuously smokey reeds, exuberantly nonsensical scatting and wordless choral chants; sometimes more moody than body-moving, but always tethered to a generous groove. ~ K. Ross Hoffman, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Dring Dring

This song rocks!!! Great dance track!


Formed: 2004 in Paris, France

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s

A free-wheeling, fun-loving, genre-bending electronica outfit whose records are just as likely to recall improvisatory 1920s Parisian jazz blow-outs as 21st century electro-house or (so-called) "minimal" techno, Nôze comprises the duo of stepbrothers Nicolas Sfintescu and Ezechiel Pailhès. Pailhès is a classically trained pianist who studied at the Academy of Music in Paris, while Sfintescu, who also performs under the name DJ Freak, is a founding member of Circus Company, a techno label that's home...
Full Bio
Dring, Nôze
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