- There always seems to be a little something extra on a Dame-Music release, some added squiggle or jump that buoys things. In the case of "Black Rebel," Quenum's new A-side for the Berlin label (run by Bloody Mary), things hop plenty already. The sub-bass tows the whole thing along; it feels more like the kick drum is the accompaniment to the low end, rather than the guide. The claps, heavy breathing and liquid keyboard tones, filtered in the background, make for heady atmosphere. But there are a couple odd little drops near the beginning—a horn hit at 1:44, a slice of chromaitc-sounding piano at 2:34 — that keep the ear on its toes as well as the rest of you.
Sounding voices come in about halfway through "Black Rebel," so it's canny that "Maison Natal" begins with them: a drifting, seemingly overheard variety of French men and women discussing things amongst themselves this non-Francophone cannot, sadly, make out. What matters more than what they're saying, though, is that they do their talking over this track. The beat feels flat and hard even as you register the curved low-end of the enhanced production. It's subtly layered—there's a lot of percussion, as well as fewer vocal drops as the track grooves on, but all of that exists further at the edges of the production. It's all meant to focus you on the beat, and it succeeds.
A Black Rebel
B Maison Natal