Les Rhinocéros
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Les Rhinocéros


Band Rock Avant-garde




This band has no press


Les Rhinocéros (s/t) - 2011 Tzadik Records
Les Rhinocéros 2 - May 2013 (Tzadik records)!



What do you get when your father plays John Zorn’s Naked City for you in the crib; you start playing with Malian Ngoni master Cheick Hamala Diabate by the age of 17; and your great grandfather was the violin player in the Russian Tzar’s personal Klezmer band? You get Michael Coltun – the bassist, composer and founder behind one of Washington DC’s most adventurous and exciting young bands: Les Rhinocéros

Les Rhinocéros’ self-titled debut album is out now on John Zorn’s Tzadik Records. This album is a trailblazer on a label known for its trailblazing. The record is the first in Tzadik’s brand new Spotlight Series – a series focusing on “exemplary young bands with great dedication, passion, talent and imagination." In fact, the series came to life after executive producer John Zorn heard Les Rhinocéros and knew he wanted the band as part of the “Tzadik Family”. Thus the Spotlight Series was born as a means to release this album and, going forward, other albums by exceptional young artists handpicked by Zorn.

The band’s journey began in Coltun’s high school as an improvisational duo featuring the young bass player and a fellow classmate on saxophone. When the saxophonist left for college, Michael decided to take the project in a different direction – a traditional rock lineup (playing anything but traditional rock music). Michael called upon the talents of classmates Peter Tran (guitar) and Tom Klecker (drums) and the current incarnation of Les Rhinocéros was born.

After two years of playing the music out and honing their sound – the trio decided it was time to record their first album. They hunkered down in Coltun’s home studio and got to work. “The process was very organic once we set out to record. I would take the loose form of my compositions to the band and together we would work on arranging the tune for the album,” said Coltun of the recording process. Seven months later Les Rhinocéros had completed recording and mixing their bold debut.

While the band’s musical influeces are clear throughout the album, they do not merely pay homage to those that came before them. Rather, they have thrown all the pertinent elements classical, jazz, noise, world music and others into a blender and poured a tall glass of something completely new and refreshing. The band amazingly finds itself equally at home playing grooves reminiscent of Ali Farka Touré as it does those of Electric Masada – a quality you rarely see in a group of seasoned veterans, let alone a trio of teenagers!

Les Rhinocéros have done extensive touring since the release of the 2011 self-titled album. They have done month long tours throughout North America and Canada, Eastern/Central Europe and even playing for growing audiences in Japan. They’ve played some of the top festivals in the world including Montreal’s Suoni Per Il Popolo, the 2012 International Jazzfestival Saalfelden in Austria, and DC’s Sonic Circuits Experimental Music Festival. Les Rhinocéros has shared the stage with groups such as: Lightning Bolt, Mary Halvorson Quintet, Muhal Richard Abrams, Pharaoh Saunders, Father Murphy, Xiu Xiu, John Zorn, Ken Vandermark, Nels Cline and many more! Les Rhinocéros will be releasing their 2nd album on Tzadik in 2013!


"AMAZING! I LOVE the music! ALL OF IT!" - John Zorn

"This s*** is rad! You’ve found some damn good players to partner with. It’s all here, droney ambiance, proggy riffage!" - Josh Potter, Relix Magazine

"Wow!! The new generation of Tzadik artists has arrived in the form of a Rhinoceros!!" - Cyro Baptista

"Wow, these guys are my new favorite band...it is absolute, raw, and wholly real...This is contemporary creative music of the youth in the 3rd millennium... this album plays out as a continuous journey you can listen to from beginning to end, and ultimately, it’s just really good music." - Tim Keiper (Cyro Baptista, John Zorn, Vieux Farka Toure, Dirty Projectors)

"Hailing from the Washington, DC area, the young band Les Rhinocéros delivers a crazy world in sound, blending aspects of rock, world music, noise, ambient and jazz. The trio of teenagers was formed in 2008 while the players were still in high school, and has developed since then into an intense and wildly imaginative group that takes music to its extremes. Emotional, minimalistic, intense and grooving, this is music that goes beyond imagination to the edges of sanity. The group continues their sonic experiments by adding unusual instruments into the traditional rock band setting." - Tzadik