BECAUSE MUSIC 26th August 2022
Jump straight in on track fifteen – “Dahlia Rouge”; whispered female vocals, chiming six-note melody and fuzzy rock backing. Or maybe its predecessor, “Prisunic”, with spoken male vocals and an overwhelming atmosphere of late-eighties Serge Gainsbourg. There; I had to get the obligatory Francophile reference out of the way. This band is much more reminiscent of the Velvet Underground in it’s simplicity and understated rock-chic. Tunes ride on bass figures and drums in the simplest way, while vocals are quiet and measured, late-night-sleepy in tone at times. The drums don’t have a lot of variation to them but that’s kind of the point. The band carry a Sixties excitement and feel, stretching for laconic dreaming to crazy Ye-Ye jiving.
Based on just two people, Lionel and Marie Liminana, supplemented when they feel like it by friends and fellow-travellers, The Liminanas are a rolling monolith from Southern France, near Rousillon, and this is a compilation of their best moments plus guest appearances. Hooky turns up to add bass to “Garden Of Love” and “The Gift”, Anton Newcombe of Brian Jonestown Massacre does an Iggy Pop impersonation on “Istanbul Is Sleepy”. There is a disc’s worth of the best of the last thirteen years and another of rarities, including early tracks when they were known as Las Bellas. Personally, I have a fondness for the intense Newcombe-produced tracks from the “Shadow People” album but the variety in the collection is a selling point, always shifting emphasis, contrasting, say, with the laid-back tracks from “Malamore”. Some of the later instrumentals have great tone though, and the manic sixties-style garage-pop of the Las Bellas tracks are full of fun. Tracks like Dimanche (with Bertrand Belin) have a deliciously intense throb and gallic flavour to the spoken vocals. Etienne Daho adds a different breathy tone to One Blood Circle and Nuria is hilarious, throwing out Spanish food items and random words atop Lionel’s laconic Serge-isms. Laurent Garnier brings with him some tastier beats to break things down a little.
The overall sound is Motorik and Psych, making for a satisfying mix of sounds and influences, never moving too far from the mission statement, while applying enough variety to appreciate the winding paths they have taken.