New Audio: French Duo Cercueil Shares Brooding and Hypnotic “Suchness”

Deriving their name from the French word for coffin, cercueil, French experimental electro pop duo Cercueil — Pénélope Michel and Nicolas Devos — formed back in 2005 and features two extraordinarily talented members: one members attended the National School of Fine Arts near Lille, France, and was a member of math rock outfit Milgram; the other studied music theory while also playing in experimental performance groups.

Their debut EP released back in 2006 went largely unnoticed, but their full-length debut, 2009’s Shoo Straight Shout won them quite a bit of attention with the album being released to critical acclaim. That led to the band winning a Best Newcomer Award at the Qwartz Electronic Music Awards. Shoo Straight Shout saw the duo firmly establishing a sound that draws from coldwave, New Wave, krautrock, techno and trip-hop among others.

The French duo’s sophomore album, 2011’s Erostrate saw the band adding elements of dark techno to their sound. Around this time, the band had begun building an international profile with touring across Belgium, Germany, UK, Switzerland, Iceland, Denmark, The Netherlands and even North America — with stops on the international festival circuit., including The Great Escape, Transmusicales de Rennes, Printemps de Bourges and M Pour Montréal. Adding to a growing profile, they opened for Alan Vega and WhoMadeWho.

Released through Clivage Music, the duo’s latest EP Bad Posture is influenced by Nina Childress’ paintings, Charles Freger’s anthropological photos, the films of Michel Haneke, David Lynch and Kenneth Anger, as well as the the works of Black Dice, The Knife, Harmonia, Kraftwerk and Onoehtrix Point Never. Letting their creative process guide them throughout, Michel and Davos went whenever the music took them while forbidding nothing — to a point that they were frequently surprised by the directions the material went. “We don’t really think about where it is we want to take things. Often, we develop our sound based on our experience and familiarity with our instruments, and just let things flow depending on the track, the sounds. That is what directs things, more than an actual conscious thought,” the French duo explain. That wild, unpredictable creative freedom is infused throughout the EP.

“Suchness,” Bad Posture‘s latest single is a hypnotic mix of propulsive tribal beats, trip-hop, industrial techno and atmospheric synths centered around a relentless motorik groove. Michel’s ethereal vocal glides over a menacing and uneasy production that sounds like it would rock a club in the year 2222 — if humans and clubs are still a thing by then.