07/02/2012 • No Comments

François & The Atlas Mountains

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Frànçois came to Bristol from France in September 2003. He drew a picture and put a note in a window announcing his arrival, and asking people to make music with him. He started going to car-boot sales to find some instruments he could use. Overnight, frànçois won the hearts out of this town. Well of course, he’s a sweet kid, but he’s also armed with an eager sense of adventure and a keen taste for pop thrills.

In January 2004 he played his first live show, taking to the stage alone, making use of keyboards (played with his foot), a guitar, live samples and a drum machine, mixing playful and experimental ideas with his natural pop-tune sensibilities and sweet bilingual vocals. The string of live performances he has since played have all been eagerly anticipated and utterly charming. Musically, you could say he is reminiscent of VELVET UNDERGROUND, HOOD, and FRANÇOISE HARDY and yet he is also like nothing else at all.


In 2005 he gathered a band of friends, ‘The Atlas Mountains’ and recorded “The People to Forget” less bedroom sounding album realeased in february 2006 on vinyl by stitch stitch.
‘Fránçois & The Atlas Mountains’ band toured and giged a lot across Europe and the Uk in 2006 and 2007, supporting Adrian Orange, Camera Obscura, Electrelane and many others. Gathering songs and shaping their sound from shows to shows they recorded the “Brother” album but left it unfinished.
When the album and the band projects were quiet Fránçois went down to the south cost of England to record some songs in the analogue studio of his friend Nico Marcel. Ray Rumours invited fránçois to join her to make a split 7″ for the TooPure Singles Club. The song used is ‘Swimmers,Drifters’ and made it to the Word Magazine covermount.


In 2008 Fránçois took a break and went back to live with his parents in France with the intention to stop the music side of things and to hide behind his brushes and watercolour paints. There he found support from a bunch of local friends (members of free-folk collective Unkle Jelly Fish aka Archipel ) who convinced him to do some recordings of the works he had prepared for a show in Paris at the Centre Pompidou.  The recordings took place partly in Charente-Maritime and partly in the Basques Country. For those sessions the musicians also included the poliphonic quintet Bost Gehio.
2009 saw the release of Plaine Inondable on Talitres in France and Fence records in the Uk. Fránçois also moved to Glasgow and played in the glaswegian CAMERA OBSCURA (4ad) live band for a while. When Fránçois and the Atlas Mountains performed live to promote the recent issue it involved Amaury Ranger more systematicaly. That new permanent member enhanced the compositions of the album by playing heavier african rythmic on calebash and dounoumbas all over it. That pulse allowed Fránçois to experiment live with delayed vocals, and melodic rather than rythmic guitar playing , which also revealed more and more the influence of music from Northern Africa.


Nevertheless touring with Camera Obscura and going out in Uk clubs stayed a strong influence on E VOLO LOVE, the album produced during 2010. It reflects both the pop and electronic sensibilities as well as the newly african influence developped during the live performances. Rythm provided by english fellow Rob Hunter (Rozi Plain’s genius drummer) and Amaury performing mostly on the bass . Sessions were recorded in the confortable Chapelle Chavagne, an old building on the hights of Saintes. It’s a period during which fránçois stayed in Charente-Maritime France in between the tours in order to focus on the band. Laurence Bell, head of Domino Records was introduced to the sound of the Atlas Mountains by Steven Patels and Johnny Pictish (Fence records). After discussing and meeting at live shows they decide to work together on the forthcoming album.


2011 sees Fránçois And The Atlas Mountains getting support from the french musical industry: Chantier des Franco, Fair, SFR Jeune Talents, Prix Adami, Selection Bourges. Which allows the band to open to a broader audience in France and to perform in some of the most renouned summer festival: Route Du Rock, Francofolies, Rock En Scene. E Volo Love is released on Domino France in October, bringing much promotion and reviews including the cover of Magic (number 1 magazine for independant music in France), apearance on Tv (Cd’aujourd’hui and Ce Soir Ou Jamais).
Most importantly the increasing ammount of touring allows the band to experiment and modulate their songs and sounds in a continuous manner.


François & The Atlas Mountains Website


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