British experimental duo Das Sombreros and French improviser André D. are commemorating 108 years of the Entente Cordiale with a trio of ‘paranoiac collages’. That layer found and treated sounds with nonsensical, misheard phrases and fleeting moments of musicality, all underpinned by sinuous and brooding basslines.
The results can be hallucinatory, sinister, erotic and hilarious – at times all at once.
What better way to celebrate Anglo-French relations? Discover now “In Red Weather” their fascinating long distance collaboration.
Pedro Wong – voice, sax, trumpet, drums/percussion, cello, shofar, recorder.
Klaus Patel – voice, guitar, berimbau, percussion, horn, penny whistle, field recordinds, synth/samples, drum loops.
André D. – prepared bass, archo eub, ebow, effect.
Recorded in U.K & France.
Artwork by Mr Sylvestre.
Das Sombreros is Pedro Wong and Klaus Patel.
With a combination of intellectual wit, high camp and an ambivalent froideur, the fey Patel and taciturn Wong established themselves as one of the premier electronic pop duos of the 80s. The pair met as schoolboys at a railway station when Patel enviously eyed the clutch of Delta Blues records under Wong’s arm. They soon formed a band, taking their name from a cult book that documented the unspoken sexual proclivities of the American public.
In their late teens and early twenties, the lovable moptops earned their stripes in the bierkellers of Hamburg with a gruelling regimen of performance, amphetamines and besotted teen fans. It was here that Wong developed his trademark guitar sound by using a coin instead of the more traditional plectrum.
Initially guided by a shock-haired svengali who claimed the whole venture as a Situationist prank and took much of the credit for the nation’s growing interest in the band, Das Sombreros released a series of self-titled albums, more commonly known simply as I, II, III and IV. As ambitions grew, however, so did egos. The behaviour of both Wong and Patel became increasingly erratic. On Wong’s insistence, a sandpit was built in their recording studio and Patel was hospitalised after biting the head off a live bat onstage.
Relationships within the band also became strained and started to fracture. The songs that comprise the last album of what is seen as the classic line-up document, in unflinching detail, the dissolution and creation of various romantic partnerships within the band. Decamping to Berlin, Wong and Patel changed direction dramatically with a trio of albums that married icy minimalism with an ill-judged flirtation with fascist imagery.
Tragically, a jaded Wong, disillusioned by the vagaries of the music business and the hollowness of celebrity, was gunned down outside his New York apartment by a crazed fan carrying a copy of Catcher in the Rye. Tragically, after countless attempts by friends and industry insiders to reinvigorate his career, Patel, bearded and bloated, was found dead in a bathtub in Paris. Some suspect his death to be a hoax. Their erotically-charged pelvis-swivelling dance moves both thrilled and appalled the nation in equal measure.
Musician without borders, self-taught, motivated by atonal and improvised musics, he mixed the sound experiments both in groups and solo since the end of the 90s.
In 2011, he create “Darius Improvise” to produce & play free-form music (free-jazz, experimental, electro-acoustic, noise, improv…), until now and meanwhile his new projects, several albums were published by European, Australian & North American netlabels.
Now in association with musicians from around the world, he explore the musical possibilities offered by the new electronic communication channels of our time (as digital files exchange or long distance jam session).