Theoretically, this was supposed to be a review of the single Tentoonstelling, an opportunity for We All Die (Laughing) to take part in an interesting interaction between music and photography (more on this later), but it would be pointless not to tell the story of the band from the beginning. The duo, made up of French singer Arnaud Strobl and an old acquaintance of ours, Déhà, whose praises I have already extensively praised on the various occasions I have come across his projects, released a single-track album at the beginning of the year entitled Thoughtscanning, the (belated) discovery of which was a real thunderbolt. In this era dominated by the disposable, I hope that someone still remembers a band called Edge Of Sanity and one of its records, Crimson, played, sung and composed entirely by that genius Dan Swanö who, in the course of a single long track of forty minutes, passed with ease from prog scores to death rages, anticipating the times and preparing the ground for those who over the years have made of versatility their trademark. Well, Thoughtscan (the song) is the elevation to the extreme power of those ideas, which is not surprising only if you are aware of having to do with a musician like Déhà, who has already proved to be able to navigate through different styles such as black, doom, death, grind and, in this case, even progressive, without showing the slightest failure in quality. The song has the classic circular structure, in the sense that the beautiful main theme is repeated several times in its flow, but everything happens in a kaleidoscope of styles ranging from brutal outbursts to delicate melodic arpeggios always following a well-defined thread. Strobl’s voice proves to be an ideal one to enhance the splendid instrumental work of the Belgian musician and, frankly, the only regret that remains of this work is the fact that the song itself ends, after more than half an hour of intense, enveloping, deep and incisive music, capable of giving great emotions. The duo, on the other hand, speaking of gifts, as the second track of Thoughtscanning reworks in their own way Back To Black by Amy Winehouse, a dazzling vocal talent burned in an intense but ephemeral existence. A few months after this magnificent work, the name We All Die (Laughing) reappears on the scene as part of a project promoted by French photographer Matthieu Drouet. The artist chose twelve of his own works to be used as covers for the singles composed for the occasion by the same number of bands, tracks which will, of course, serve as musical backing for the images in an exhibition currently being set up. Déhà has therefore reworked the magnificent theme of Thoughtscan giving it an ambient appearance: the result, needless to say, is once again excellent, since with Tentoostelling they go to disturb no less than the illustrious ghosts of Fripp and Eno, stripping the contents from that intellectual aura that inevitably accompanied such brilliant artists and making the approach to this musical genre less icy and more emotional traits. Déhà’s guitar work is refined and runs in the stylistic groove of the bespectacled English guitarist, making Tentoostelling a development of Thoughtscan entirely appropriate to its value. There is also a second track here, but it is not a real song since it is nothing more than the sound reproduction of the file containing the cover image, obtained with some electronic devilry (of which I prefer not to go into details since it is not my field of expertise) that, as you can imagine, returns a series of whistles and noises, defined the sound of picture, completely devoid of any musical connotation. At the end of this long story, we can rightly talk about Thoughtscanning‘s unmissable work and Tentoonstelling’s successful and stimulating experiment. As for Déhà, however, there is further confirmation of a musical talent that, frankly, is almost angry to see confined to an underground reality, although in the end, it is precisely what allows him to express himself without any stylistic constraint in all the many projects that see him as a protagonist.
2014 – Kaotoxin Records
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