Wow! Pierre-Alain Dahan & Mat Camison's Rythmiques is another iconic release in the hallowed Tele Music catalogue. First appearing in 1973, it features tense funk, blunted jazz and heavy breaks all the way. Considered the rightful sequel to Continental Pop Sound, it's a vital album for producers and DJs; and you can probably guess that RHYTHM is central to the record's presentation. And you can really taste what's rhythmm, to borrow a phrase. French drummer, percussionist and composer Pierre-Alain Dahan was a key member of the legendary Arpadys, Disco & Co, Voyage, Tumblack (with Wally Badarou, Mallia et al!) and Jef Gilson Septet whilst his partner here, Mat Camison, was a pioneering synth LORD. So, you know this Be With reissue is absolutely crucial.
The album picks up from where Continental Pop Sound left us, opening with the tense, stabbing thriller-funk of "Rythmiques N° 4". The dubbier "Rythmiques N° 5" is no less electric and definitely has a spacey air of wonky funk about it with the slightly off-kilter rolling piano. "Rythmiques N° 6" is more percussive-focussed with a brilliantly hypnotic opening that really stretches the drama out. “Rythmique N° 7” alternates between fast-paced, skipping drums and slo-mo funk, always with the clavinet high up in the mix. Wicked. The dope jazz of “Rythmique N° 8” truly mesmerises with licks of electric piano, funky bass flourishes and varied percussion. “Rythmique N° 9” has great, sloppy-yet-hard intro drums which sound like something Daft Punk could've pilfered circa Human After All, punctuated by a guitar rock refrain that repeats til the end but is never overdone. The A-Side closes with the beautiful, melancholic "Piano + Piano", a reflective jazzy piano track which could easily open a wide-ranging set this autumn and many after it. Stunning.
Opening Side B, "Auto Rythmiques" is a hectic yet compelling funk workout but it's all about the frankly devastating breakbeats on “Rythmiques N° 10 & N° 11” with effortlessly twisted funk bass lines over open drum breaks and enough tension and rhythmic switch-ups to keep your neck-snapping and your mind lifted. Downright essential. Taking leave from the heavy funk break action, the pastoral "Océan Horizon" is perhaps an unfairly overlooked highlight. A gorgeous, softly-aquatic, ambient gem, it's gently percussive with warm, floaty keys decorating the mellow rhythmic bed. The mercifully brief "Super Carrousel" is harmless fun-fair-funk but perhaps best skipped over whilst the intriguingly titled "Gay Shopping" is another throwaway exercise in inexcusable jaunt whilst. To close out this memorable set, thankfully, we're left with "Suspense N° 1" to get us back on course with its unsurprisingly tense mix of urgent stringed instruments that flirt with rhythm and melody yet the longer the track goes on. Deep.
One of the very best French drummers ever, Pierre-Alain Dahan began his career at the Blue Note in Paris with Sonny Stitt, Dexter Gordon and Daniel Humair. Some start, eh?! He also participated in the recording of Serge Gainsbourg's cult album 'La Ballade de Melody Nelson' before going on to make countless KILLER library funk records and be a key member in the legendary Arpadys, Disco & Co, Voyage, Tumblack (with Wally Badarou, Sauveur Mallia et al), Jef Gilson Septet (alongside Henri Texier) and many more. Some pedigree.
The audio for Rythmiques has been remastered by Be With regular Simon Francis, ensuring this release sounds better than ever. Cicely Balston's expert skills have made sure nothing is lost in the cut whilst the original, iconic Tele Music house sleeve has been restored here at Be With HQ as the finishing touch to this long overdue re-issue.