Denim jackets on their shoulders, Simon Says and Florent Frossard aka Il Est Vilaine are hitting town with their first album “Les mystères de Lorient”, out on May 21st on Dialect Recordings.

After several EPs on labels such as Lumière Noire, Kill The DJ or Bahnsteig 23, « Les Mystères.. » is infused with a “Yellow Magic Orchestra-Ish” touch but rooted in the french musical landscape.

A road trip in Brittany as a red thread, the two hooligans of Il Est Vilaine revisit kawaii pop, crazy rock like DEVO and Detroit techno with a surprising coherence. An album long matured and awaited by the band’s fans.

Il Est Vilaine aren’t from Brittany, but they sure are tricksters. The Francophiles among you might have caught on to the corny pun in their name (beating a certain presidential candidate to the punch all while turning the name of the pastoral Ile-et-Vilaine region into, literally, “he’s a nasty woman”) but the real takeaway is that these born-and-bred Parisians don’t take themselves too seriously – especially in an era in which there is much too much of that happening.

It was in 2014 (and on Dialect Recordings) that Florent and Simon tossed their debut 12” into the ring, the rightfully named Scandale – a tight little bombshell released that roused the electronic music scene out of its complacent little catnap. So there we had it, two outcasts refusing to eat at the same table as the tech-house scene queens, serving up three whiplash-on-the-dancefloor cuts drenched in sweaty hedonistic disco and wrapped in a battered motorcycle jacket (with a gooey post-punk-pop core for good measure.) A clear mission statement right out of the gates, watermarked with mystical incantations and throbbing with rock ’n’ roll’s primitive drive. Everything and the kitchen sink, and a bag of chips – an invitation to just let loose that’s even better than the sum of its parts.

Long awaited by its core fanbase, this album was produced in Paris at the Coloritmo studio although the initial set up was done remotely as Florent went into exile in Naples during this period.

Il Est Vilaine surrounded themselves with fellow artists such as Apollo Thomas for the Artwork, Chloé C.A.R (on Yvré L’Évêque – they had already made a joined remix for RED AXES), Yula Kasp (on Phare Ouest) , Macdara Smith (on Bar a Gwin), Marcus (on Marilyn Drum telling the delusions of a guru inviting his disciples to debauchery), Sofia Fanego (on Calaveras, who ends this road trip with the death of the protagonist), and also Narumi Hérisson from Tristesse Contempraone (singing in anglo-japanese on Les Mystères of Lorient).

From the burlesque and abundant vibe of this duo a unity that strikes the listener emerges, like a journey to perfectly mastered poetry, even allowing themselves a tribute/cover of late french night wizard Christophe.

Not so « Vilain » after all.

Release on May 21, 2021

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