REVIEW: NUMÉRO# – SPORT DE COMBAT (2009)
In the tradition of French electro-pop comes yet another duo making sure those symbols get the spotlight, Numéro#. However they ain’t from Paris, but across our border in Montreal. Sport de Combat skews towards dance in taking queues from Simian Mobile Disco more than fellow mainstream French electro artists. Pierre Crube and Jérôme Rocipon. “Tonton Klaxonne” even evokes The Faint‘s socio experimental electronica in Danse Macabre with translated lyrics “If I have to disguise myself as a youthful illicit product salesman, I burn the coffin and its few flowers…”
The static, overly fuzzed “Méduses” effectively kills any tranquility or complacency shortly into Sport…, a technique the duo often employs to distance Numéro# from electro acts. “H.O.N.N.E.U.R.” continues the fuzz, injecting an electricity akin to dreaded tesla coils charging up, Electronic Arts-style, before unleashing absolute silence. It’s similar to the cliffhanger built up by “Cars Pass in Cold Blood” from The Faint, sans the piano solo the Canadian/French duo sneaks in.
The pop harmonies work as on “Faux Tempo,” which sounds as if Miike Snowcould have constructed it. Unfortunately their voices do not hold as dynamic a vocal range as Andrew Wyatt’s, not quite attaining the vivacity of the beats. Nevertheless the music, particularly as on “Angoisse, Paresse, Panique” (Agony, Laziness, Panic) is not spacey, drifting drones. The synthesizers never stunt the flow in classic European electronic fashion, as Crystal Castles‘s self titled did. This release achieves that prime pop sound, plateauing and sustaining those ecstatic wavelengths.
Sport de Combat splits the deeply rooted core of European electropop and implants it in Canadian soil, only slipping up a few times in the process. Nevertheless, Numéro#’s Pierre and Jérôme are one unexpected production duo assured to cross more than just borders and genres as they hone and harness those beats burgeoning in their artistry.