KWOON
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KWOON

Paris, Île-de-France, France | INDIE

Paris, Île-de-France, France | INDIE
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"Rock freaks"

I hope you like post-rock because, boy, have I got some coming up for you. About a dozen reviews give or take, of varying quality and styles - some are as post-rock as it gets, some just share similar tendencies. First in the firing line is Kwoon with their second album "When The Flowers Were Singing", which would be one of the best genre releases of 2010... if it wasn't for the tiny detail of it actually being released in 2009.

What makes this album such a great listen is how they fit themselves quite comfortably within the parameters of the genre, clearly heavily influenced by the biggest names such as Sigur Ros, Mogwai, Godspeed! etc, but, and this is important, they have learnt to use these influences alongside their own personality to keep it sounding famililar without sounding like a lesser tribute band.

Introduction "Overture" is just under two minutes of soaring guitars; it instantly grabs your attention, wasing utterly no time in settling in or building up and instead chooses to race out of the blocks. "Great Escape" brings it down into a usual quiet build-up, which grows into an uplifting crescendo. The transition from those opening two songs into the rest of the album comes in "Frozen Bird". Textually, it's far richer than the previous tracks, much like the rest of the album that follows. The Sigur Ros influence comes through clear here, not least in the vocal department. Layers of vocals, cello, keys, guitars, a reverberating bass - a very, very nice touch, all swirl together for a climax of near-"Svefn-g-englar" proportions. There on in, your typical loud walls of sound are nearly non-existant, as they favour building through textual intimacy, which often results in sweeping soundscapes, best heard in the likes of the title track and "Labyrinth of The Deep". Ten minute epic "Ayron Norya" is the ultimate closer (I'm not counting "Untitled" as it's five minutes of static - who needs that?) it uses the techniques developed over the course of the previous eight songs to, for the first half, craft a lonely, daunting atmosphere; and, after a brief period of quiet/reflection, gathers in momentum, ending up as a thundering crescendo.

"Untitled" notwithstanding (it's not even on the album track-listing) "When The Flowers Were Singing" is a flawlessly produced and executed example of how to be influenced and use those influences to be recognisable to the listener, but still have enough of themselves to offer something fresh. Moreover, there isn't a too significant amount of time between first listening and first starting to be rewarded by this wonderful album; an album that's accessible but continually revealing isn't something often found in post-rock, either. [8] - Rock freaks


"SONIC ABUSE"

John Woo (who is not even remotely connected to Kwoon) makes movies. His movies are (or used to be HUGE) and frequently opened with the sort of explosive carnage that should rightly go at the conclusion of a story rather than the outset. This is a trick that Kwoon use here, opening with a joyful, blessed out explosion of guitar abuse that would more conventionally sit at the conclusion of a track than the outset of an album. It is a trick that suckers you in before you have a chance to think about it and by the end of the two minute torrent of noise you’re hooked. ‘Great escape’, the second track of the album, is a much softer affair that uses gentle orchestration to back the song which sits somewhere between Radiohead, Low and Spiritualized (with a pinch of Snow Patrol before their heads grew out of all proportion to their bodies) and is utterly, utterly stunning, especially as the song breaks into a joyous burst of noised at the end. ‘Frozen bird’ is closer in aspect to Sigur Ros’ quiet introspection with gentle music that ebbs in the background like the subject matter’s fading heartbeat. In the hands of a lesser band it could be unbearably depressing, but the music lifts the listener out of the impending doom and there is a haunting beauty that stays with you long after the CD has finished. ‘When the flowers were singing…’ is the perfect follow up, more dynamic, yet still perfectly understated, it brings to mind the lighter moments of Low in all their ‘slow-core’ glory.

‘Memories of a commander’ is another slow-building, yet stunning track, with a vocal harmony to die for and it houses hints of the much missed Cooper Temple Clause at their most downbeat. ‘Schizophrenic’ is just perfect – a distillation of all the best elements of the songs up to this point, complete with a scintillating climax that raises goose-bumps thanks to the overwhelming emotion and aching melody. ‘Back from the deep’ is a haunting instrumental that drifts gently from the speakers, ‘labyrinth of wrinch’ is emotionally wrenching and gorgeous all at once thanks to the lead vocal duet which adds a real depth to the song and brings Anathema to mind. The final track ‘Ayron Norya’ builds over three minutes before the drums even announce their presence. Lengthy, yet never dull, and finally exploding into multi-textured noise similar to the openign of the album, it is a hypnotic and outstanding finale to an album that is grand, ambitious and thoroughly brilliant.

Overall Kwoon offers a near-unrivalled emotional experience. The music is epic in scale and yet understated at the same time – never allowing itself to become over-the-top or cloyingly sentimental. An album that deserves to be huge, it stands tall above any number of chart-bothering bands who purport to offer a similar experience. Beautiful, engaging and original; what’s not to like? A work of art. - SONIC ABUSE


"STEREOKILLER"

Upon receiving When the Flowers were Singing, Kwoon was a complete mystery to me. Listening to the album many acts popped to my mind. The usual for post-prog bands with prog leanings. I checked out their myspace and their influences pretty much shared my exact feelings.

When the mood is right for me I absolutely LOVE this style of music. It often sounds like you're listening to a movie score more than a rock album. This band is no different from that. They build emotions and textures throughout the entire album. It's up and down quite often.

There in lies my problem with it. It often seems like they build something so well that you're waiting for it to break and it just leads to nothing. It leaves me feeling slightly robbed. That's not to say that this happens every time. The band does know what they're doing. It just seems at times that their focus isn't fully realized. When it is realized they are damn near perfect.

They're certainly not treading any new water here, but they are navigating through that water like a veteran sea captain. Although, even veterans can make a mistake every now and then and that's what I mean when I say all parts aren't fully realized. This is their 2nd album, so I'm expecting great things from them in the future. - STEREOKILLER


"ELEGY (FR)"

Tales & Dreams dévoile une écriture à la troublante assurance, un imaginaire fertile qui nous porte vers de longs frissons de plaisir...

more : http://www.kwoon-music.com/all/docs/chroniques-elegy.jpg" - ELEGY (FR)


"Magic (FR)"

Fasciné par la puissance onirique des instrumentaux, le chant n'apparait qu'en de très rares occasions, soigneusement choisies... Pourtant il hante tout l'album de son inaliénable présence et fait s'incarner cet imaginaire luxuriant dans un instant de pop gracieuse, unique et hors norme."

more : http://www.kwoon-music.com/all/docs/chroniques-magic.jpg" - Magic (FR)


"Rock Sound (FR)"

Kwoon nous livre un post-rock puissant et mélancolique à souhait... Une maitrise exemplaire du style et de ses codes

more : http://www.kwoon-music.com/all/docs/chroniques-rock-sound.jpg - Rock Sound (FR)


"Guitarist Magazine (FR)"

Elu album autoproduit du mois "Ce disque nous a bluffés, déroutés..."

more :http://www.kwoon-music.com/all/docs/chroniques-guitarist-magazine.jpg
- Guitarist Magazine (FR)


"Metalorgie.com (FR)"

Soufflé, tout simplement soufflé par ce CD. Kwoon signe là un premier album digne des meilleures formations mondiales dans ce style, ne passez pas à coté et laissez vous emporter (18/20)

more : http://www.metalorgie.com/metal/groupes.php?id=1009 - Metalorgie.com (FR)


Discography

Tales & Dreams (2006)

When the flowers were singing (2010)

The Guillotine Show (2011)

Photos

Bio

Waves of cosmic energy brought Sandy Lavallart inspiration for his first self-produced album Tales and Dreams, from which the parisian post rock combo Kwoon was born. This first chapter surprised and delighted as it drew listeners into its universe, finely illustrated by the multi-award winning video clip for « I Lived on the Moon. »

A tour of electric and acoustic dates sees them grace the stages of France, Switzerland, Belgium, Romania, Germany, Poland, Czek and Greece to take you on their musical journey…

Kwoon tour 2011 :

- 06/10/11 : Paris (FR) / Showcase FNAC des Halles
- 10/10/11 : Poznan (POL) / KLUB FABRIKA
- 11/10/11 : Warsow (POL) / @ HYDROZAGADKA
- 12/10/11 : Krakow (POL) / @ IMBIR MUSIC CLUB
- 13/10/11 : Prague (CZE) / @ JAZZ DOCK
- 14/10/11 : Leipzig (GER) / @ EEG (Westwerk)
- 15/10/11 : Berlin (GER) / TBC
- 16/10/11 : Rostock (GER) / @Stubnitz
- 17/10/11 : Hamburg (GER) / @ Astra Stube
- 18/10/11 : Amsterdam (NL) / TBC
- 19/10/11 : Liege (BEL) / @ Inside Out
- 21/10/11 : Athens (GRE) / @ Fuzz Club (as Mogwaï support band)
- 22/10/11 : Buccarest (ROM) / @ Kulturhaus
- 28/10/11 : Paris (FR) / @ Cafe de la Danse
- 29/10/11 : Nantes (FR) / @ Le Ferrailleur
- 30/10/11 : Chérisay (FR) / Le labo sonore
- 01/11/11 : London (UK) / @ Barfly
- 05/11/11 : Dublin (IE) / @ The Grand social
- 17/12/11 : Moscow (RUS) / @ Gogol
- 18/12/11 : St.Petersburg / @ Dusche