Les Disques du Crépuscule presents Space & Time, a brand new album by Deux Filles, the reclusive arthouse duo comprising Colin Lloyd-Tucker and Simon Fisher Turner, aka Gemini Forque and Claudine Coule.
The fictive French girls released two high-regarded albums of ambience and found sound at the dawn of the 1980s, Silence & Wisdom and Double Happiness. Since then Simon Fisher Turner has become a prolific soundtrack composer (Caravagio, Blue, The Epic of Everest), as well as finding cult pop success as The King of Luxemburg. Alongside a string of eclectic solo releases, Colin Lloyd-Tucker's vocal and production credits include work with Kate Bush, The The and Sweet Dreamer.
Space & Time sees Deux Filles reunited after 33 (and a third) years of silence, recorded on a musical Grand Tour which took in France, England, Scotland, Nicaragua and Japan. Now, as then, fellow travellers include Matt Johnson (The The), Anni Hogan (Marc Almond), Paddy Bush, and The Elysian Quartet.
1. Her New Master
2. Belle's Bell
3. Mandy's Playroom
4. Horsebox Parade
5. Moon Starer's Return
6. Song for Ozu
7. Prayer for Vince
8. Mata Laya Pata
9. Shell-Like Cornice
10. Mouth Popsicle Explosion
11. Preparing Wet Piano Tuna
12. A440HZ (No Solids)
13. Oh How We Laughed (With the Capsizing Girls)
14. Happy Clappy
15. Soft Crushed Love
16. Spooky Gumbo Trance
17. Twinblade Sofa Cull
18. Deep Snowdrop
19. Pighouse Parachute Blues
20. Treasure Trove of Memories
21. Gigante Beach (and the Giant Pig)
22. The Five Sexes
23. The Voice of Experience
24. Happy Ending
"The best thing about some fictive characters is they never age... With Space & Time it's as if the interim between then and now hasn't registered at all. On opening track Her New Master, a tape is heard winding into action, as if playing such a tape once again has unlocked the essence of Gemini and Claudine, and the track is a florid accompaniment to their reawakening. It's a fleet, wide-eyed introduction with the sampled enunciations of what sounds like a papal clergyman expressing benediction from a distance above incipient, amorphous shades of neo-classical grace.
Unstructured whimsicality, like an incidental, oddball lullaby characterises Mandy's Playroom, but it's only when we arrive at 'Horsebox Parade' does a quietly overwhelming affect - in tradition with the duo's finer moments on earlier records - begin to take shape. This continues on Moon Starer's Return, another interlude, but one that defies its brevity with a lush baroque procession, as if Joe Meek were to offer a 30th century version of Greensleeves. Meanwhile Prayer for Vince shares a similar mood, conveying the elevated feel of a score and thereby revealing some semblance of Turner's work as a soundtrack composer.
Yet due to the discursive course undertaken across these 24 tracks, such qualities are more like nebulous tracings than categorical imprints. Just as an idea of where we're headed seems stable - in this case melancholic orchestral soundtrack-esque themes - disruptive vignettes derail proceedings, as on Shell-Like Cornice and Mouth Popsicle Explosion, the former a chasm of furtive, overlapping whispers and the latter a strange stopgap of Didgeridoo-like derangement. It's perhaps what makes the record so appealing. It's an open, unpredictable book that seems to lead down one corridor before slipping into an altogether different one, yet these oblique wanderings still feel part of the same remote construction. Over 30 years since supposedly 'disappearing without trace during a trip to Algiers in 1984' and their fiction of playful mystique is very much intact, populated by a music as mutable, subtle, and beautiful as ever" (The Quietus, 01/2016)
"This collection of 24 sketches continues through Editions EG territory, a cornucopia of instruments feeding new wave sounds which wash field recordings up on windswept beaches and tranquil riversides. There, the composers meet and converse with a range of fellow travellers from across their careers. There is that time-honoured conceit at play, 'the realm of dreams', but the roll-of-eyes that brings doesn't do the record justice. It's delightful stuff. Both Filles are extremely talented at capturing moments of beauty in their music and it's a joy to hear them continuing to do so into their late middle age" (Record Collector, 02/2016)
"An expansive and frequently arresting collection of 24 discrete and varied pieces taking in all sorts of sounds from around the globe. Aside from audience manipulation, one of the most interesting things about Deux Filles was the sheer breadth of their musical scope, from experimental pop to soundscapes. The same spirit of unbridled experimentation runs throuh Space & Time, with tracks reanging from ambient texture (Horsebox Parade), distorted saw-wave buzz (Mouth Popsicle Explosion), maudlin Latin guitar laced with subtle electronic sequences (Soft Crushed Love) to menacing pseudo-classical structures forced into new, almost Cageian shapes by aggressive processing and manipulation (Twinblade Sofa Cull)... It's almost as if, after sloughing off the mask of assumed identity, Tucker and Turner went all-out and loaded these vignettes with even greater levels of musical intrigue and impenetrable mystique. In doing so, Space & Time acts as a wonderfully quirky next chapter in the weird story of Claudine and Gemini" (Electronic Sound, 01/2016)
"Each time we've come to review the work of Simon Fisher Turner in these pages, we never fail to be impressed by his curiosity, enthusiasm and genuinely eclectic approach. Here he stretches these qualities further still by adopting a playful mask, namely a fictional feminine persona called Claudine Coule, while co-conspirator Colin Lloyd Tucker assumes the role of Gemini Forque, together with a supporting cast. Space & Time reactivates a project originally begun in the early 1980s and dormant for more than thirty years. Once again the two boys immerse themselves in a 'girlish' world, wherein dreaming up picturesque scenarios becomes an end in itself. Sounds of bicycles, the shrieking of tropical birds (and English ones too), Alpine cowbells, insects, dogs in Devon and splintering wood might all be found on the same track as electric guitar, a worn-out harp or forceful piano. Stifled laughter, whispered prayers and broken conversations form some of the surrealist scenarios brought to life in these charming vignettes. If we are reminded a little of Pascal Comelade on first listening, beneath the mannerisms these dreamy sonic micro fictions quickly create a baroque, bucolic universe all of their own" (Rifraf, 12/2015)
"The more you dip into the depths of Space & Time, the more you discover. It's otherworldly in places, made for headphones and may well appeal to those of you enthralled by the Touch label (Hafler Trio etc), Nurse With Wound, Virginia Astley, Brian Eno's Music For Airports, Erased Tapes and the like. Matt Johnson and Anni Hogan add their own deft touches to the mix" (Flipside, 01/2016)
"A brushed diamond in its brightest glitter" (KLFM, 02/2016)
"Space & Time shows how far Deux Filles were ahead of their time, because it harks back to the sound of those days and yet still impresses us. So what of the fact that the songs are rather short? You won't notice it, because they blend perfectly together as one. Pighouse Parachute Blues and Treasure Trove of Memories are two examples of songs that touch your heart, as do the twinkling piano sounds in Gigante Beach. However the weirdest track is Happy Ending, a song lasting nine minutes. For the first few you just hear a noise that we can't identify. Then, suddenly, it becomes the ultimate brain massage. Deux Filles like to experiment with ambient, and touch the heart and soul of the listener" (Peek a Boo, 03/2016)
"With a kind of feminine grace, childish playfulness and humble humour, Deux Filles move in the misty border zone between soundtracks, sweet chansons and music concrete" (Mr Bungle, 01/2016)