SummaryBorn from yet another improbable encounter of 4 musicians again initiated by Stépane Grégoire, Numbers Not Names confirms Ici D'Ailleurs' manager's taste for unexpected musical-crossroads, following the unforgettable This Immortal Coil (which got together Yaël Naim, Chapelier Fou, Matt Elliott, Yann Tiersen, Oktopus and Bonnie "Prince" Billy). No question of covers or tribute here, though : this original project, gathering vocalist Alexei "Crescent Moon" Casselle (Kill The Vultures - USA) alongside Jean-Michel "Mitch" Pires (NLF3, The Married Monk - France) on drums, Oktopus (Dälek - USA) on production and Chris Cole (Manyfingers - UK) on drums and laptop, is the result of an urge for crossing paths and aesthetics to try and open a gap, create effervescence, a moment of grace, whilst allowing the unpredictable to set in with all it implies...
The eponymous first EP (a special release for Record Store Day 2012) announced it, What's The Price? confirms : even if a violent, tense and groovy hip-hop could have been expected from such a line-up, the atmospheres, radical on some titles, hypnotic and psychedelic on others, show the enjoyment mystifying Numbers Not Names' put into the wideranging variation of their panel of emotions. And despite the dense and arid environment the record evolves in, the final result isn't just a simple monolithic block. Emergencies demand strong but certainly not hasty answers. Each song thus heads to a distinctive territory, though always stepped on by these on edge yet visionary, experienced and skilled musicians.
Numbers Not Names mirrors an unstable world, where uneasiness reaches its paroxysm. It is no surprise to be confronted with a highly strung music, where explosions multiply, catching a listener finding himself in the middle of a meticulously elaborated sound-chaos that tickles any sensitive spot. Accuracy and musical skills provide a trying, yet complete and cathartic immersion : one surprisingly tends to think that blood and dust will, at some point, leave room for some more positive energy. And - as the band proved it on a few occasions, in France for the Ici D'Ailleurs Festival last April - live acts definitely convey this feeling. 4 musicians in perfect harmony for performances that sweep away the frontiers between hip-hop, rock and industrial genres.