Passive/Aggressive

Cheval Sombre – “Imagining some sort of graceful, gentle force” (interview)

English Feature May 10 2015 cheval sombre liverpool

Tekst og foto: Andreas Melchior

I efteråret 2012 udgav Cheval Sombre, hvis eneste faste medlem er den New York-baserede sangskriver Christopher Porpora, det formidable album “Mad Love”, som også blev omtalt her på bloggen. Porporas tyste og bevægende sange er bygget op omkring en akustisk grundstamme med spor fra åndrig folk, blues og gospel, som kamufleres af en synæstetisk wall of sound. Til dette års Pop Revo kan man opleve en af de forholdsvis sjældne Cheval Sombre-koncerter, når Christopher Porpora spiller et solo-set på Radar. Dette interview er foretaget, inden Cheval Sombre blev booket til Pop Revo.

P/A: I watched your performance at Liverpool Psych Fest 2014. It seemed to be a very emotional experience for you. What do you experience when you play in front of an audience?

Christopher Porpora: “It was — it always is. I find playing music a highly charged moment, whenever and wherever I play. The trick is always how to hold it together. And the tricky thing is that the trick always changes, as all things must and do. Sometimes it’s focusing on one spot in the room, or closing the eyes, imagining some sort of graceful, gentle force which holds me as I play, which gets me through. Other times it’s other things — unprintable here — other ways of being.

The show in Liverpool was particularly overwhelming as a result of many things. A dear friend of mine had recently passed away — and that was very much with me — it still is. Also, Pete Kember and Alison Cotton were on stage with me, both playing devastatingly gorgeous swells of music, which could have easily swallowed me into some luxurious death. Under such circumstances, I do hang on best I can, trying to play the songs all the while.”

P/A: Pete Kember (Sonic Boom) plays a significant part in Cheval Sombre. He has produced both of your albums and also joined some of your live performances. How did that collaboration come about and what does he bring to Cheval Sombre?

CP: “Indeed, he has. What does he bring? An exquisite beauty — depth of colour, shades. He brings distraction — and he has told me so — but let me explain. I have encountered much generosity in this world I should say, and just recently was asked which musician I would like to see most give a performance. The price of the ticket not a worry, the venue, the country, the time, the place — all mine to decide. I thought about it seriously for a few minutes, considering this rare offer.

I had always wanted to see Leonard Cohen, and I did, luckily, a few years ago. Who else, I wondered. And I said it — it would be Pete. His music struck me when I was very young. And it helped to redeem a life which I suspected might be drab, empty, lifeless. So playing beside him has always been a deliverance. When the beauty of our worlds come together something extraordinary comes forth. If I can’t catch him on his own I suppose I do so when we play together. I must do. The sounds he produces make the moment better for me, as they always have. But he is the one who reminds me not to get distracted when we play. He doesn’t like my songs to suffer while I am getting lost in his parts. Læs resten

Repeat på redaktionen i 2012 (album)

December 21 2012

Age Coin “Perceptions” (posh isolation/€ndurance)
Animal Collective ”Centipede Hz”
(Domino)
Captain Murphy “Duality” (selfreleased)
Celeste/Inner Garden (Tambourhinoceros)
Cheval Sombre “Mad Love
” (Sonic Cathedral)
Chris Cohen ”Overgrown Path” (Captured Tracks)
Complicated Universal Cum ”Hello Exit Harmony” (Fake Diamond)
Converge “All We Love We Leave Behind” (Epitaph)
CTM “Variations” (Tambourhinoceros)
Daughn Gibson “All Hell”
(White Denim)
De Høje Hæle ”Kold og Træt og Bange” (Hjernespind Records)
Death Grips ”The Money Store” (Epic)
Eskimo Hunt “Knkker MixT Ape” (selfreleased)
Forgiver Forever ‘My Mythology’ (Af Med Hovedet)
Hahn Kult “Jydsk Mudder” (Mastermind Records)
Here We Go Magic “A Different Ship” (Secretely Canadian)
James Ferraro “Sushi” (Hippos in Tanks)
Jessica Pratt “Jessica Pratt” (Birth Records)
Julia Holter “Ekstasis” (RVNG Int.)
Kala-OK “Reminiscience of a Bodily Blues” (Tambourhinoceros)
Lust For Youth “Growing Seeds” (Avant! Records/Sacred Bones)
Moonface with Siinai Heartbraking Bravery” (Jagjaguwar)
Micachu & The Shapes ”Never” (Rough Trade)
Musik for Seks Elektriske Guitarer – “s/t” (Jvtlandt)
The New Spring “Secret Armor” (Tambourhinoceros)
Peter Peter & Christian Rønn “Panser” (Escho)
Robert A. A. Lowe “Timon Irnok Manta” (Type Records)
Snake & Jets Amazing Bullit Band ”Stuff That Rotates” (Crunchy Frog)
Synd Og Skam “Blafret ør af kjoler” (Af Med Hovedet)
Tame Impala “Lonerism” (Modular)
THEESatisfaction “awE naturalE” (Sub Pop)
Urban Achievers “s/t”
(Vulgar Deformity)

Repeat 2012 (30 sange) på vej…

Shout outs til: Af Med Hovedet, Bæst Monday Ever, Cola Freaks, Eget Værelse, El Paraiso Records, Fonal Records, Freejazz-stef, Hundebiss Records, Klik på P6 Beat, KNTN, Off The Hook/Leaves Festival, Pan Act, Raum Eins, Sejerø Festival & Skræp for at sætte krav til musikken derude i 2012.

Cheval Sombre – Bag mørklægningsgardinet

November 28 2012

af Andreas Melchior

“I wasn’t made for this world, no”. Allerede i første linje på Cheval Sombres andet album, “Mad Love”, artikuleres den tilbagevendende følelse af fremmedgjorthed, som er et gennemgående tema, ikke bare på pladen, men i vores tid. En abstrakt længsel efter det udefinerbare, et andet sted, der knap tør tænkes af frygt for, hvor man ender. Cheval Sombre tænker tanken til ende.

Cheval Sombre er et alias for amerikanske Christopher Porpora. Meget passende er det en ligesindet alien i form af Pete Kember (også kendt som Sonic Boom) fra Spacemen 3 og Spectrum, der har sat sig tilrette i den fløjlsbetrukne producerstol og drejet mixerpultens knapper mere og mere på. Foruden diverse beroligende medikamenter, har han medbragt sit sædvanlige arsenal af ekkobelæsset drone, orgeloscillationer og knitrende Sonic Boom-effekter, som kribler og krabler overalt på de verdensfjerne enspænderhymner. Gæstelisten tæller foruden Pete Kember også Galaxie 500-guitarist Dean Wareham og Warehams kone Britta Phillips, der har medvirket på begge Cheval Sombre albums. Albummet af optaget i studiet hos Andrew VanWyngarden og Ben Goldwasser fra MGMT af Pete Kember (han producerede også duoens 2010-album “Congratulations”), og MGMT er desuden også gæstemusikere på “Mad Love”. Læs resten