Playfully mixing and deconstructing various genres to create its own sonic world, the seminal band hasn’t stopped changing shape and form throughout its existence (the only permanent member being its initiator, Crammed Discs boss Marc Hollander). Aksak Maboul now revolves around Hollander & Véronique Vincent. After a long gap, they’ve written & recorded a brand-new double LP, 'Figures', which was enthusiastically received when it came out in May 2020.
A series of reworks and remixes of songs from ‘Figures’ is due for release in October 2021 on two limited-ed vinyl LPs, ‘Redrawn Figures 1 & 2’, which feature reworks and cover versions by experimental pop luminaries such as Cate Le Bon, The Notwist, Kate NV and Vanishing Twin, electronic music artists Felix Kubin, Toulouse Low Trax, Hello Skinny & Matias Aguayo, as well as some up and coming beat makers, and four reworks by Hollander.
In order to extend the fun (and the metaphor in the title), Aksak Maboul have asked the contributors to also revisit Véronique Vincent’s painting which adorned the front cover of Figures!
So the artwork will display 16 “redrawings” of the original cover, done by most of the remixers, each in his own personal style.
Aksak Maboul are already working on a new album, scheduled for 2022.
Aksak Maboul's current live line-up includes Véronique Vincent, Marc Hollander, Lucien Fraipont, Erik Heestermans and Faustine Hollander.
The backstory in a nutshell: Hollander founded Aksak Maboul in 1977, as a solo project, and was soon joined by Vincent Kenis. Each of the band’s albums is stylistically different from the others, yet they all share common aesthetic and musical foundations. Released in 1977 and 1980, the band’s first two albums (‘Onze danses pour combattre la migraine’ and ‘Un peu de l’âme des bandits’) are avant-garde classics, a status reconfirmed by the reactions to their recent vinyl reissues.
After a merger with postpunk band The Honeymoon Killers, Hollander and vocalist Véronique Vincent wrote and recorded music for a 3rd album, a kind of electropop extension of the Aksak Maboul spectrum, but left it uncompleted. In the meantime, Hollander had founded the Crammed Discs label (which was informed by the same wide-angle musical spirit as Aksak Maboul's), and spent the next few decades signing, sometimes producing, and releasing over 600 records by lots of other artists.
That 3rd ‘lost’ album was finally unearthed and released in 2014, as ‘Ex-Futur Album’, and the reception kickstarted the Aksak resurrection: a new live incarnation of the band took back to the stage, and Hollander & V.Vincent were soon writing and recording new music, which resulted in Figures, a double album which revisits all genres & styles previously explored by the band, from electronic music and pop to experimentation, jazz, minimalism, contemporary classical etc.
foto Aksak Maboul © Samuel Kirszenbaum