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Du rock grandiose qui s’emballe au blues rampant, plein de reverb, qui se love au
creux de l’oreille, en passant par la pop espiègle aux refrains magiques : album
après album, Fai Baba, rêveur sauvage, continue de brouiller les pistes avec des
mélodies non calibrées. Déroutant.
Le groupe zurichois Fai Baba, construit autour de Fabian Sigmund,
appartient à cette nouvelle génération qui ne s’embarrasse pas
des codes musicaux. Fai Baba prend sa source en Suisse
centrale, quelque part entre le Lac des Quatre-Cantons et les
grands mythes, laissant libre-court aux sentiments grandioses
depuis 2010 avec une voix qui flotte telle un spectre au-dessus de
compositions dégingandées. Dans la lignée de Jeff Buckley, Sufjan
Stevens, Kevin Morby, la voix de Fabian Sigmund fait partie de
celles qui mettent le curseur très haut sur l’échelle du frisson.
Fai Baba, c’est aussi Domi Chansorn, batteur, sensibilisé aux
percussions dès l’âge de 2 ans dans la cuisine de sa mère. De la
batterie de cuisine à à la musique, il n’y a qu’un pas. Multiinstrumentiste
de génie, il n’a de cesse d’expérimenter des nouvelles dimensions sonores.
Co-prod entre le label français Casbah Records et le label suisse A
Tree in a Field Records, Sad & Horny, 5ème album de Fai Baba
prêche le blues aux côtés de synthés planants et de percussions
volatiles : le mariage de l’aérien et des écorchures offrant une force
étrange qui captive toujours le public, que l’audience soit
composée de 15 badauds dans un bar pourri ou de 300 hipsters
dans un club rutilant en première partie d’un artiste international.

Fai Baba’s given name? It doesn’t really matter. What we do know is that
he’s an impostor. «I have many names», he says with a playful smirk. One
finds oneself wanting to believe anything he says. There’s a dangerous
charm that surrounds him.
His new album Sad & Horny sounds like something straight out of LA
Psych-Land. And that’s just the record. Onstage, Fai Baba always lets his
music take shape spontaneously, according to the situation – either solo,
as a duo, or with a band.
And this will occasionally send him off to dizzying heights, with only
the cable of the guitar and its need for power and amplification keeping
him anchored – not necessarily to the ground, but definitely somewhere
within the city. Then again, the music also has a strong Deep South,
countryside feel to it. Fai Baba has been at this for a while now. Including
Sad & Horny, five albums have been released under his moniker since
2010; first, three releases the artist himself refers to as „weird“ (main
ingredients: drum loops, cassette recorders, and isolation), then one
album recorded with a full band, and now Sad & Horny. The songs took
their time to develop, but still sound refreshingly off-the-cuff, and even
though they all share the same level of intensity, each one explores an
entirely different mood. The very title of the album reflects this, since
it offsets brooding, melancholy numbers written by Fai Baba himself
against the bulk of the album that follows an altogether different energy.
This isn’t the singer/guitarist’s sole responsibility. The record owes much
of its charming and ever-confident pace to the fact that in early 2016,
Domi Chansorn was invited on board. With up to thirty gigs a month,
he is one of the busiest drummers around, and according to his own
statement, he doesn’t play rhythm; he plays music. Maybe that’s why
the six songs he co-produced with Fai Baba sound more „horny“ than
„sad“, giving the album an exciting inner tension. It‘s obvious that two
soul mates have met here to create rock-solid sounds, but also to let
them develop in the moment, keep them flexible, and to understand
them as living things that in turn can be influenced by the audience – no
matter whether there‘s only a guitar on stage, or drums, or even a bass
and a piano. Thus, the cover photo shows the two as musical partners:
Chansorn with a keen glance, and Fai Baba like a young Chet Baker.
Sad & Horny started out as a planned cooperation with a filmmaker, and
the songs drew inspiration from film noir and road movie atmospheres.
The film never got made, but the music remains: against a backdrop of
drugged-up repetition, reverberating guitars you can almost reach out
and touch (Find Me A Woman), and echoes of Jeff Buckley (Nobody
But You), it hauntingly floats between Iggy/Bowie and the stylistic
single-mindedness of ‘Deer hunter’ (Don’t Belong Here), the driving
and progressive dynamics of Klaus Dinger (Can’t Get Over You), and
an undeniable touch of the Beatles (Geographical Tongue). All of
which makes us eternally grateful that Fai Baba never studied business
administration. But it‘s the closing song, Straight Man that leaves us
grinning with enthusiasm: This son of a gun will even turn you on to Chris Isaak !



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