Ubiquitous with dissonance and straight to the point with guttural nuance, the new single from Philippe Petit titled ‘The Hammer + The Compliant Man’ gives credence to musical disjointed. Almost tribal in rhythm and digitally decedent, the track is both underlyingly solid while giving the impression of freeform and improvisation on the surface. Let this be a new secret pleasure.

'On Top' cover.
‘On Top’ cover.

About Philippe Petit
Philippe Petit is no stranger to the world of music – as co-founder of Strings Of Consciousness and with a large number of acclaimed releases to his name, Aagoo Records present the latest of his works.

‘On Top’ is the latest album released as Philippe Petit & Friends, following up ‘Cordophony’. Ahead of the release, they are presenting the lead track ‘Black Dog’. This song features malleable vocals by Charlie Finke, ranging from David Sylvian-esque swooning to Peter Murphy’s cutting delivery and the raunchiness The Stranglers’ Hugh Cornwell. With Philippe Petit on electronics, Rafaelle Rinaudo contributes electric harp and Hervé Vincenti handles guitars and percussion.

This album was originally intended to become the third part in a trilogy originated by Strings Of Consciousness, the SOC collective broke up but Philippe continued inviting his friends, musicians, and singers to collaborate with him – namely, the ones he felt were “On Top”.

On the first track ‘The Hammer + The Compliant Man’, Philippe, Eugene S. Robinson, and Hervé Vincenti give us a tense and at times tender narrative. This plays out like an old radio drama except it’s urgent and you feel somehow locked in.

‘On top of the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacàn’ comes last on the album, it lives up to its title. Known to be the holy city of Teotihuacan (‘the place where the gods were created’), this is close to Mexico City, built between the 1st and 7th centuries A.D. In this track, time seems to slow to a crawl, it feels like a ‘peak’ moment – all clear and beautiful, but like any peak, it gets uncomfortable at times. While not without its harsh moments, ultimately this is a gorgeous, intimate and emotive album.

Petit’s new album should appeal to fans of Machinefabriek, Eugene S. Robinson, and Lydia Lunch, a long-time collaborator of Petit’s. He has also collaborated with a massive amount of renowned artists, including Jarboe (Swans), Cindytalk, Faust, Murcof, Audrey Chen, Yannick Barman, and PAS, as well as Cosey Fanni Tutti (Throbbing Gristle), Edward Ka-Spel (Legendary Pink Dots), Graham Lewis (Wire), Barry Adamson, James Johnston (Gallon Drunk/Bad Seeds/Faust), and many others.

Philippe Petit is interested in soundtracks. Even if he creates original music, he’d rather be introduced as a “musical travel agent” than a composer. Since the early 2000s, he has been performing the world, playing festivals all over Europe, Canada, USA, Mexico, Australia & Asia.

“I like to move various glasses, pieces of wood, stones, or percussive objects, as well as taking advantage of vinyl material to fondle released sounds. I deal with electroacoustics because I rely on electricity/amplification to produce, manipulate and work on sound material, but I try my best to explore various genres and make sure that each of my album differs from the previous one, trying to avoid routine and surprising to my listeners,” explains Philippe Petit.

‘On Top’ will be released by Aagoo Records on May 4, but is already available for pre-order via Philippe Petit’s own Bandcamp.

“A magical act of imagination made manifest”
– The Wire Magazine

“The magisterial pomp of modernism mashed up in crisp juxtapositions that bring to mind not just the long French tradition of exploratory noise works rooted in Pierre Boulez’ sound research laboratories at IRCAM in Paris but also the brittle surrealism of Nurse With Wound at their most distractingly playful”
– The Quietus

“‘Black Dog’ features highly impressive vocals by Charlie Finke, whose very convincing delivery and dynamic combines elements reminiscent of Bauhaus’ Peter Murphy, Japan’s David Sylvian and The Stranglers’ Hugh Cornwell. It’s one thrill of a ride to flow with the ups and downs presented in this work – commendable composition”
– Big Takeover Magazine

“Highly entertaining. Intricate tracks, in which the techniques may be obscured, but the creativity is not. Unidentifiable samples gather and swirl like hordes of locusts, accompanied by windshield wipers on dry windows”
– A Closer Listen

“The sound of a world burning, but at an excruciatingly slow pace. None of us can feel the temperature escalating, and we won’t until it’s too late”
– Tiny Mix Tapes