The Swan the Horse and the Black MatterMusic • CD
Acoustic • Drone • Electro • Experimental • Neoclassical • Unclassifiable
23/06/2014, Peter GEYSELS
Qlay was founded in 2009 from a “violent artistic inner impulse”. It started as an atmospheric folk one man band (cello, guitar, loop station) incarnated in the French musician Quentin Gendrot. Later drummer Simon Renault (Warattah, Thousand Ravens,...) and bass player Geoffrey “Shob” Neau (Eths, Thousand Ravens, Kubiack,...) joined him and the project evolved in to a powerful rock trio. Qlay however can still be seen and heard in it’s original form from time to time.
It isn’t easy to described te musicof Qlay. As a harsh progressive rock/metal band they are influenced by kinds of music. From electronic pop to extreme metal, along with jazz, classical and world music.The result: cutting guitar riffs, heavy and powerful bass and drums, mesmerizing cellos, and a versatile and aerial voice, switching between joyful melodies and rageful screamings.
“The Swan the Horse and the Black Matter” (2013) is the first EP of Qlay but already we have here a beatifully finished product. All songs on this EP tell one story, dark and full of suspence. “The Swan the Horse and the Black Matter” talks about passions and feelings, the relatioship between people, nightmares turned into fantasies (“Sleepless”, impulses of vengeance unfulfilled (“Voice of the Adversaries” and the scceptance of frustration of what is beyond our control, like death (“My Grief”).
The title of this EP itself gives an introduction on the story in the five songs. The swan and the horse are two iconic animals, the first is a symbol of beauty and femininity, and the other represents virility and power. These two figures also represent death in their own way, the swan by his famous dirge (explicitly portrayed in "Swan"), and the horse by the way it is shown in the introduction to the album, "Dead Horses "which is the result of a dream.
"Dark matter" is Qlay itself. A kind of strange and dark clay, it represents our childish desire to create and build, build relationships between things and concepts, which at first does not necessarily match, or even are opposed. Here, for example the swan and the horse, male and female. As a way, perhaps, to describe their love for mixing different musical styles and jumping between the different emotions expressed in the music.
“Chevaux Morts” (Dead Horses). As the title sugests it creates a dark and unfamiliar atmosphere. It stands out a bit of the rest of ‘the story’ told on this album, but it grabs your attention, it makes you curious for more.
In “Sleeples” the story starts to unveil. The voice and text, the melancholy cello and soft percussion are the basic ingredients that come together with a very unique and personal result.
In “Voice of the Adversaries” the mood changes. Can I say a cozy atmosphere? More groovy rhythms, maybe even jazzy. It’s not easy to put a precise genre on the music of Qlay, but it never sounds messy. It’s a well chosen path. And again in this song voice and cello take a beatiful lead in the story told.
"Swan" is again an istrumental piece. Relatively simple but very beautiful, this musical elegy brings a melancholy moment in the story.
The last chapter, the conclusion of the journey, “My Grief” is a well chosen song to finish this story. It concludes the story, it’s an heroic ending, but not the end. After listening to this song you just star craving at the follow up.
In short, discovering the music of Qlay was an eye, and ear, opener. A slap in the face but with a silk glove. I fell in love (ok, a Gothic love in black lace, but that’s me) and I hope te hear more of them soon.
SHIREEN • Unmarked EP
PHILIPPE MORA • The Beast Within
HATCHLING • Other EP
PIETER NOOTEN • CLASSICS: Sleeps with the fishes
SCOTT COOPER • Out of the furnace
YOUNG KNIVES • Sick Octave
STUART ROSENBERG • The Pope Of Greenwich Village
IVY & GOLD • Eye of the Storm EP
THE DEVIL & THE UNIVERSE • What Time is Love?
• Deadline 25/5
Same genre: ACOUSTIC
MERCYFUL HEAVENS • For Now
DEZ MONA & B.O.X • LUCY
SUNDAECRUSH • A Real Sensation
THE DEMON RIND • Lonely This Evening
ARMSTRONG • Under Blue Skies
DAVID J • Thoughts And Prayers
FRED ABONG • Pulsing Ep
DRAGON WELDING • Dragon Welding
PAUL MADDOG AND HIS BAND AISLING • Winter In London
DAVID J • Crocodile Tears And The Velvet Cosh (Reissue)
Same genre: DRONE
THE MARY HART ATTACK • The Falling Sun
PHALLUS DEI • Black Dawn
DANIELLE DE PICCIOTTO & ALEXANDER HACKE • Perseverantia
NADJA • The Stone is Not Hit By The Sun, Nor Carved With A Knife
BLACKWOOD • As the World Rots Away
GLERAKUR • Can't You Wait
THORN 1 • The Leave of Leaves
MICHEL BANABILA • Early Works/Things Popping Up From The Past
RICARDO DONOSO • Quintesence
BE • One
Same genre: ELECTRO
JIHAD • Retrospekt
MILDREDA • I was never really there
LISA GERRARD & JULES MAXWELL • Burn
POTOCHKINE • Sortilèges
BLUTENGEL • Fountain of Destiny
VARIOUS ARTISTS • Electropop 18 (Super Deluxe Edition)
300 000VK • Peter Paradox
MARTIN L. GORE • The Third Chimpanzee E.P.
HA:PEOPLE.3.55 • El Dia de la Bestia, Part 2 : WAR!
VARIOUS ARTISTS • Electrostorm vol. 9
Same genre: EXPERIMENTAL
DEAR DEER / EMBERS • Split
JESU • When I Was Small
ALSO • Live in Celovec
LUKE LUND • Hopium
YATES AND YOUNG • Splinters Ep
NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS • Ghosteen (Ghosteen/Bad Seed Ltd.)
SIX HANDS // A-TOTA-SO • Bromance EP
I AM A ROCKETSHIP • Mind Grafitti
FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY • Wake Up The Coma
PAS MUSIQUE • The Phoenix
Same genre: NEOCLASSICAL
NICHOLAS LENS & NICK CAVE • L.I.T.A.N.I.E.S
PETER BJARGO (ARCANA) • Structures and Downfall
AIMAPROJECT • Di AimA Il Segno
AIMA • Haiku Irregolari In Forma Di Musica
LISA MORGENSTERN • Chameleon
ILLUMININE | WOUTER DEWIT • Cultuurcentrum Mechelen | 27.10.2017
ALICE IN NEVERLAND • L'ile aux Trésors
STERNLUMEN • Sternlumen
ATARAXIA • Deep Blue Firmanent
RUMMELSNUFF & ASBACH • Rummelsnuff & Asbach
Same genre: UNCLASSIFIABLE
FANTASTIQUE.NIGHT XLVII • MOLLY NILSSON, MARY OCHER, MENAGE A TROIS, RODOLPHE COSTER
VARIOUS ARTISTS • Ni D'Eve Ni D'Adam
MONSTER YOUTH • Lost Dream, Cool Fire
TUXEDOMOON • CLASSICS: At Twilight
THE THE • CLASSICS : Soul Mining
XTC • CLASSICS: Skylarking (Corrected)
THE FALL • Creative Distortion
BROWN REINIGER BODSON • Clear Tears, Troubled Waters
APHEX TWIN • Syro
CABARET VOLTAIRE • #7885 Electropunk to Technopop 1978-1985