• John Van de Mergel

Sounds | 22 For Silicon Alone, Only Dark Matters


Met Only Dark Matters laat 22 For Silicon Alone, het audiovisueel project van Alexis Pfrimmer, een tweede single uit het gelijknamige album op de wereld los. En wij mogen die in première aanbieden!


Beïnvloed door zowel cinema als muziek, krijgen we enerzijds een zinnenprikkelend visueel spektakel (de video dus) en anderzijds een lied dat voor de ene zal staan voor sublieme muzikaliteit, terwijl iemand anders het pretentieuze navelstaarderij zal noemen. Muzikaal zou dit nummer perfect op een album van de Dave Matthews Band passen. Probeer de muziek dan ook niet in een vakje te proppen: rock is de basis, maar invloeden uit en uitstapjes naar folk, jazz, alternative, fusion en zoveel meer zijn duidelijk merkbaar of zitten subtiel verscholen. Daar zit dan ook enerzijds de grote sterkte van Only Dark Matters en tegelijk misschien wel een moeilijk te overschrijden drempel.


Tot welk kamp je ook mag behoren, de muziek van 22 For Silicon Alone zal niemand onberoerd laten en mag op zijn minst als heel erg ambitieus worden omschreven. Beluister het volledige album via bandcamp.



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On May 21st 2021, '22 for Silicon Alone' released its first LP ‘Only Dark Matters’. The project is led by Alexis Pfrimmer, singer/songwriter, producer & director, based in Brussels. Behind this enigmatic title hides an ambiguous observation, a provocative statement that stands like a refrain for a modern Orpheus. Along the album, Alexis takes us with a high-flying team on a journey full of twists and turns. Each song has its own atypical combination of styles and yet nothing feels disjointed. This mastered patchwork, largely rock- influenced, allows itself astonishing digressions: from heavy metal to light jazz, through Drum'n'Bass or even EDM, its singularity remains on the spotlight and gives us the impression to be the soundtrack of a film without images. Lyric-wise, we can talk about surrealistic poetry, both in French and English, where there is again space for ambiguity, word games, double meanings and unspokens. Straight out of a tortured love story, in need of reciprocity: a wannabe french lover caught in an impossible relationship, from wounds to wounds, he confides in music, a foray of lights into the shadows, a path as tortuous as it is virtuous. Accompanied by a puzzling visual in which we discover a creature without a face, arched like a sphinx in the middle of an ageless living-room partially buried in sand. Obviously, a unknown being, half-human half-nature, is '22 for Silicon Alone' suggesting a new mythology? ‘22 for Silicon Alone’ is an audiovisual project, led by Alexis Pfrimmer, singer/songwriter, producer & director, based in Brussels. As he was looking for a name to encapsulate this project, he stumbled upon those four words '22 for Silicon Alone' on NASA's official website. They were music to his ears. Apparently related to the composition of a space suit, 22 mm of silicon is the thickness from which you would be fully protected from rays in outer space. He added up a very personal meaning to it : 'what happens when we stop protecting ourselves and we start sharing and connecting?' Equally influenced by cinema and music, he committed himself to a set of rules, in the vein of Lars Von Trier & Thomas Vinterberg's Dogma 95 to elaborate the plot and conditions of his concept album. Such as replacing the conventional guitar/bass combo with a violin and baryton saxophone, avoid being confined within a genre, leaving space for improvisations and imperfections or even recording altogether.

With this project he had the desire to bring together everything that drives him, inspired by artistic gestures going from Mike Patton to David Bowie including The Mars Volta, David Byrne, Salvador Dali or even David Lynch, he never hesitates to dive into surrealism. For him, creating is all about offering to see the invisible whether it's a matter of emotions or sensations. As the project grew, he met François Vinsot, former reporter who worked for BBC & AFP, who’s now writing fictions, together they co-wrote the lyrics for the whole album in only 10 days. On the way, he had the chance to collaborate with a lot of different talents such as the young violinist Joachim Baumerder (Social Silence, Carmen Sea, MAGMA, Ibrahim Maalouf), the saxophonist Marti Melia Marganon (Under the Reef Orchestra), the producer Niels Borrey (The Pink Syrups) to only name a few. He recorded at Studio de Meudon, close to Paris (Johnny Hallyday, Avishai Cohen, etc...) with engineer Clément Gariel, and later on all the vocals at the Haekem Theatre in Brussels. The whole album was mixed by Angelica Roca (Lous and the Yakuza, Admiral Freebee) and mastered by Tom Baker (Nine Inch Nails). '22 for Silicon Alone' released its debut single ‘0+1=2’ on February 2020 as an introduction to the album, accompanied by a video, animated and directed by Alexis himself. Arousing from sound design elements the baryton saxophone leads the way of a martial rhythm, whereas the voice totally in Faith no More's footsteps, laments a strange blues 'Oh Mama, Oh Mama, can't always fall back on my feet'. Right after a sticky transition, the rhythm section blasts a heavy riff from which the violin extricates while Alexis is answering to himself in a gospel setting full of distress and remorse. As the music fades away, a piano springs from nowhere and takes you straight to the most unconfortable Twin Peaks' moment. The music video emphasizes this rollercoaster of emotions with shady characters, designed by Maurice Corbesier, caught in the middle of the sea as they are getting rid of some hazardous liquid. Altogether we are not far from 'Another world' by Gojira released however, a few months after. CREDITS All songs written, composed & produced by Alexis Pfrimmer All Lyrics written by Alexis Pfrimmer & François Vinsot Co-produced by Floriane Desperier Violin, Arrangement & Fx: Joachim Baumerder Bass Clarinet, Saxophone Tenor and Baryton: Marti Marganon Drums: Luca Glausen Piano, Keys & Synth: Alberto De Juan Vocal Coach: Ophélie Cazes Additional Musicians : Marina Delicado (Piano on tracks 6, 7 & 9) Niels Borrey (Guitars on track 6, Bass on track 10) Matteo Pastorino (Bass Clarinet on tracks 6, 7 & 9) Vincent Thekal (Baryton Sax on track 10) Soheil Tabrizi-Zadeh (Guitar on track 6) Recording engineer: Clément Gariel @ Studio de Meudon Additional vocal recording @ Haekem thanks to Gérard Daval Mixing engineer: Angelica Roca Mastering engineer: Tom Baker @ Baker Mastering


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