October 25, 2021

The Liminanas – Malamore

BECAUSE MUSIC         22/4/16

Cool stuff. A duo that channel the spirit of lounge-cool / chill-out of French bands like Air and do impersonations of the king of Gallic cool – Serge Gainsbourg. It’s a strange thing to do but some of these tracks are a direct shadow of the style Serge adopted from the early seventies on; a spoken male voice semi-muttering laconically atop a swinging backing track. He even stresses the end of each line to show off the rhyme or word-play, just like the original master of Gitanes & Anis. It works for me – I love stuff like this, stuff that makes me swagger a little as I walk with it on my headphones. It sounds as good in my groovy batchelor pad – you know, the one with the Swinging London furniture and black and white Op-Art on the walls. Sounds best when I’m toying with an unfiltered Gauloise and flicking though a Jim Steranko-illustrated Nick Fury, Agent Of Shield comic.

Thankfully, Liminanas favour breathy female vocals (think Catherine Deneuve) over some of the awful squeaky naifs that graced the Gainsbourg catalogue. The first instance is Garden Of Love, which also features the unmistakeable Peter Hook on bass. Just for fun, the male vocals are in French and the female ones mostly in English with an accent. Lyrically, they tend to the romantic loner stuff that is spiritually aligned to Lee Hazlewood. Meanwhile the music veers between Air, Gainsbourg, and the swinging lounge of hipsters like Hazlewood. It touches at times on the sound Charlotte Gainsbourg and Beck made in their collaboration. Flanged guitar effects and classic pop melodies abound. From Perpignan, Lionel and Marie Limiñanas have influences from France, Spain and Italy – a relatively short hop away and supplying a distinct aura of film soundtrack. The album’s title means, more or less, “bad love” in a number of European languages.

It may be a bit of a niche recording but this is as cool as feck and keeps the spirit of the acts I’ve mentioned whilst occasionally wigging out more than any of them did as the guitar shakes a funky tail feather. You won’t hear anything else like this released this year.