Persona Grata ― 2022 ― 00 000

Koudlam

Koudlam was born in 1979 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. He spent his teenage years between Africa, North Dakota, Mexico City and the French Alps. As a child, he liked to wander around the bush and imagine himself as a brave adventurer. His heroes were Charles Baudelaire and Jim Morrison.

Through middle school, he’d sing in rock bands that would exist for a week, until, aged 16, he was initiated to electronic music by pioneers of the rave scene. Soon, he was playing for weekends chemical audiences. Surrounded by samplers and drum machines, he wrote dozens of tunes recorded on a four-track tape. They are now all lost.

In 2006, he self-produced his first album, “Nowhere”, blending influences of early 2000s raves, rock, and baroque music.

Now living in Paris, his first live performances quickly secure a devoted fanbase, notably in the art world. Among them, Cyprien Gaillard – a French plastic artist awarded with the Prix Marcel Duchamp in 2010 – with whom he starts a fruitful relationship. He writes the soundtrack for “Desniansky Raion", a riot of a film about a Slavic fight, which became a hit in the contemporary art world (a revelation at Art Basel’s Art Unlimited in 2009). It’s followed by “Crazy Horse”, which will be performed by both artists all over the world, in the kind of venues that only the art world can access: skyscrapers in New York or Miami, the Turbine Hall in London’s Tate Modern, on top of a site crane at Berlin’s 2009 Biennale, or amongst the ruins of Teotihuacan in Mexico. Cyprien Gaillard will also create the artwork for the cover of the album “Goodbye” (2009).

In the meantime, Koudlam signs with Pan European Recording in 2008 and releases his leftfield EP “Live at Teotihuacan”, a mixture of classic symphony, world-music sounds, and techno beats, somewhere between Philip Glass, Underground Resistance, the Aztec Empire and the Unknown.

2009 sees the release of the album “Goodbye”. This apocalyptic and universal pop record is met by rave reviews and is treated by fans like a religious artefact, conceptual art you can dance to. The track “See You All” is used in the soundtrack to Jacques Audiard’s movie “A Prophet,” and becomes an underground hit.

Koudlam follows with “Alcoholic’s Hymn” in 2011, an EP with four hymns that feel like they are meant to be performed in stadiums in ruins.

In 2013, the album “Benidorm Dream” was conceived as “futuristic and intimate music in a style that’s so rococo it’s absurd,” influenced by the mirage city of Benidorm, Spain. The synthesizers scream and overlap in a fairground-like 2089 version of the Neptune Fountain.

Burnt out by a series of very intense live shows, Koudlam had to step out of the limelight for a few years, quietly producing a handful of soundtracks for obscure movies, before moving East with his family to imagine the future.

He is now coming back to civilization with “Precipice Fantasy”, once again an abnormal work. The album is split in two wildly different parts which will be released separately. The first part is made up of 12 nuggets, each one a flamboyant mutation. The second part is instrumental contemplative music, evoking feel-bad yoga and trance from the Kathmandu slums.

Inspired by hallucinated tales of pioneers or mountain conquistadores, the artist gives us the soundtrack to summits and to precipices. Or rather, to the road in between them; winding, dizzy, forever on the blade’s edge

Label

Pan european Recordings

Territory

Worldwide

NATIONALITY

FR

Koudlam was born in 1979 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. He spent his teenage years between Africa, North Dakota, Mexico City and the French Alps. As a child, he liked to wander around the bush and imagine himself as a brave adventurer. His heroes were Charles Baudelaire and Jim Morrison.

Through middle school, he’d sing in rock bands that would exist for a week, until, aged 16, he was initiated to electronic music by pioneers of the rave scene. Soon, he was playing for weekends chemical audiences. Surrounded by samplers and drum machines, he wrote dozens of tunes recorded on a four-track tape. They are now all lost.

In 2006, he self-produced his first album, “Nowhere”, blending influences of early 2000s raves, rock, and baroque music.

Now living in Paris, his first live performances quickly secure a devoted fanbase, notably in the art world. Among them, Cyprien Gaillard – a French plastic artist awarded with the Prix Marcel Duchamp in 2010 – with whom he starts a fruitful relationship. He writes the soundtrack for “Desniansky Raion", a riot of a film about a Slavic fight, which became a hit in the contemporary art world (a revelation at Art Basel’s Art Unlimited in 2009). It’s followed by “Crazy Horse”, which will be performed by both artists all over the world, in the kind of venues that only the art world can access: skyscrapers in New York or Miami, the Turbine Hall in London’s Tate Modern, on top of a site crane at Berlin’s 2009 Biennale, or amongst the ruins of Teotihuacan in Mexico. Cyprien Gaillard will also create the artwork for the cover of the album “Goodbye” (2009).

In the meantime, Koudlam signs with Pan European Recording in 2008 and releases his leftfield EP “Live at Teotihuacan”, a mixture of classic symphony, world-music sounds, and techno beats, somewhere between Philip Glass, Underground Resistance, the Aztec Empire and the Unknown.

2009 sees the release of the album “Goodbye”. This apocalyptic and universal pop record is met by rave reviews and is treated by fans like a religious artefact, conceptual art you can dance to. The track “See You All” is used in the soundtrack to Jacques Audiard’s movie “A Prophet,” and becomes an underground hit.

Koudlam follows with “Alcoholic’s Hymn” in 2011, an EP with four hymns that feel like they are meant to be performed in stadiums in ruins.

In 2013, the album “Benidorm Dream” was conceived as “futuristic and intimate music in a style that’s so rococo it’s absurd,” influenced by the mirage city of Benidorm, Spain. The synthesizers scream and overlap in a fairground-like 2089 version of the Neptune Fountain.

Burnt out by a series of very intense live shows, Koudlam had to step out of the limelight for a few years, quietly producing a handful of soundtracks for obscure movies, before moving East with his family to imagine the future.

He is now coming back to civilization with “Precipice Fantasy”, once again an abnormal work. The album is split in two wildly different parts which will be released separately. The first part is made up of 12 nuggets, each one a flamboyant mutation. The second part is instrumental contemplative music, evoking feel-bad yoga and trance from the Kathmandu slums.

Inspired by hallucinated tales of pioneers or mountain conquistadores, the artist gives us the soundtrack to summits and to precipices. Or rather, to the road in between them; winding, dizzy, forever on the blade’s edge

VIDEOS

AUDIO

NEXT.SHOWS

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