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Chef Menteur 101
Force Majeure

Chef Menteur: Force Majeure cassette review at Aquarius

by AQ, Aquarius Records
Jun 2014

A while back, we reviewed a gorgeous double lp from a New Orleans outfit called Chef Menteur, whose sound was a gorgeously blissed out psychedelic sprawl, all drugged out space rock and hazy shimmery drones, brooding psych-kraut and lush pastoral ambience. We sold a ton, and figured that maybe that just might have been it. But finally, here’s a cassette-only follow up, and right out of the gate, it’s another stunner. The opener is a hushed drift, all abstract Appalachia, wheezing harmonica, muted chordal thrum, sculpted feedback, like the prettiest Sunroof! track ever, a sort of spaced out raga, pulled apart into something even more ethereal and abstract, gorgeous and meditative and dreamlike. We figured that maybe the band had shifted their sound, and embraced their lighter, more ethereal side, but then in swoops the second track, with a rapid fire rhythmic melody, some almost funky bass, and some swirling electronics, quickly building into a sort of psych-funk that reminds us a lot of Swedish outfit Goat, which is definitely not a bad thing. As the song unwinds, the sound expands, adding more and more layers, extra instrumentation, eventually getting pretty dang heavy, with some swirling organ, building to a fierce finale.
“Death Wraith 2000” is a much darker and heavier beast, sounding like something on Cardinal Fuzz, murky riffage, swirling psychedelia, pounding drums, the sound shifting from dark and tribal, to wild and noisy and seriously freaked out. The rest of the tape finishes off two more heavy psych groovers, the first a lush, slow building Godspeed style space rocker, with gorgeous long stretches of moody minimalism, between the more in-the-red bombast, while the second and final track, brings the organ back in, things get droned out and trancey, a little bit noisy, a sort of garage prog that eventually mutates into a gorgeous stretch of soft noise, before one final blast of psychedelic space rock crush…