Rencontrer Looloo, Chocolat’s second album after an extended hiatus, finds the band swimming through modal waters, somewhere at the confluence of hard jazz and surf metal, blended with a songwriting tradition that the media, for lack of a better term, often define as folk. A far stretch from the psychedelic kraut explorations of Tss Tss, the new opus is a sort of initiatory account of the band’s journey into orbit. Here Chocolat’s kaleidoscopic visions of space have been replaced by manifestations of stark, shiny white boulders, with edges sharper than a wild jackal’s fangs.
First came a band bursting with unpredictable rock and roll violence in the middle of the new millennium’s first decade. Chocolat charmed critics with its Dylan-inspired French chansons, whose sophisticated arrangements didn’t completely cover up the band’s penchant for gritty garage tones. During this period, Chocolat released a straightforward and erotic self-titled EP in 2007, followed by Piano Élégant in 2008, a suavely romantic debut opus infused with rock and yéyé influences. Several concerts ensued, including a mini-tour with the late Jay Reatard… then the band completely disappeared from the public eye.
Although Chocolat went on a hiatus, its members weren’t exactly idle. Ysaël Pépin terrorized the globe as the bass player of Demon’s Claws. As for Jimmy Hunt, he explored his songwriting through a solo career, which, among other things, allowed him to recruit producer Emmanuel Ethier and keyboardist Christophe Lamarche-Ledoux (also a member of Organ Mood), yielding the wildly contagious Maladie d’amour (2013). Shortly after all this infectious madness, some strange force of nature brought the members of Chocolat back together. More fierce and fiery than ever, they released Tss Tss in 2014, an album whose expansive psychedelic sound and kraut-inspired repetitions earned the band international recognition and many tours abroad.
Rencontrer Looloo, which is probably the last release ever recorded at the now defunct Studio Victor, was produced by Emmanuel Ethier, written by Jimmy Hunt, mixed by Christophe Lamarche-Ledoux, and recorded by François-Régis Pagé and Louis-Philippe Kyer. The album features (in alphabetical order) Emmanuel Ethier on guitar, Brian Hildebrand on drums, Jimmy Hunt on guitar and vocals, Christophe Lamarche-Ledoux on keyboards and saxophone, and Ysaël Pépin on bass.
To get a taste of the future, simply follow the three neon red nipples that light the night sky with all their electroluminescent splendor. Once you get there, savour the sweet nectar Chocolat pours you, straight from Looloo’s flaccid and wrinkled breasts. Drink, and drink some more. Rencontrer Looloo will be available in stores and online on November 11th. The album will be released under Dare To Care Records in Canada, Teenage Menopause Records in France and Belgium, and Beyond Beyond is Beyond Records in the rest of the world.
The animated video for “Ah Ouin”, directed by Jonathan Robert (who also designed the album artwork), has premiered via the Fader. According to the band,” “the visuals of the video are inspired by psychedelic-cartoon feel of the 1960s and a retro-sci-fi mood of the animation made in the ’70s and ’80s. It’s like a meeting between Yellow Submarine and sci-fi comic book Heavy Metal.”
Rencontrer Looloo is set for release 11/11/2016 via Dare to Care (CA), Teenage Menopause (France & Belgium) and Beyond Beyond is Beyond (US + Rest of the world).
Out 11/11/2016 via Beyond Beyond is Beyond/Dare To Care
On est meilleur qu’R.E.M.
Le faucon le chacal et le vaisseau spatial
Upcoming Chocolat tour dates:
Nov 10 – Matahari Loft – Montreal, QC
Nov 11 – Le Pantoum – Québec, QC
Feb 04 – Le Zaricot – Saint-Hyacinthe, QC
Feb 11 – Mouton Noir – Val-David, QC
Feb 17 – Café Frida – Trois-Rivières, QC
Feb 18 – Le Petit Chicago – Gatineau, QC