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May 26, 2011

TourdeForce – Album “Colours in Life” – Viva Music Review


I Am the Phoenix * Modern Affair * Grey Is not Enough * What You Wanna Do with Your Life * Dancing Days * Love Hideout * Masterplan * Psychoanalysis for the Masses * Breathe with Me * We’re NOT Underground * Marry Me * Stagioni * Interrupted Boys * Colours in Life * Consensi (hidden track)

About [TDF]:

TourdeForce is an eclectronic music project from Bergamo, Italy, dated 2004. With a 2010 release of their album “Colours in Life” with Breakdown Records, usually hailed as fresh and original in an overly saturated electronic and alternative scene, and with live performances in 2011 with acts such as Covenant and Frozen Plasma, [TDF] have a message about decadence, loss of tragic sentiment, love and the dark side of love, with a feel for introspection and taking nuanced inspiration from literature, sociology, psychology and cinema.

TourdeForce – “Colours in Life” – Viva Music Album Review:

Artwork By – NON * Electric Guitar – Max Raiden, Samuele Palazzolo (tracks: 14) * Lyrics by – Christian Ryder * Mastered By – Alessio Sogno * Mixed By – Alessio Sogno, Christian Ryder * Photography – Marcello Modica, NON, Vittorio Bedogna * Programmed By – Christian Ryder * Recorded By – Lucky Chiva * Vocals – Christian Ryder, Eric Raven, Roby Bergamini * Written by – Christian Ryder, Eric Raven

Colours in Life” was a fine discovery – be it a little later than our usual pace of reviews, but worthwhile if we think of the bounty of sound it brought about. A solid and packed material, “Colours in Life”, released in April 2010 with Breakdown Records is not only a good example of what today’s electronica amounts to, but also a series of quite bright samples of the above genre.

I Am the Phoenix” is love from the first listen. A song that combines regenerative powers and retro beats, “I Am the Phoenix” is a track that makes you think of your favorite tracks of the 1980’s preserving at the same time identity and specificity, and bringing to the foundation a well needed electro upgrade. “Modern Affair” is explosive and seductive, and a really complex composition, followed by “Grey Is not Enough”. We were very happy to discover, after going through the entire album and selecting this very track as a VIVA MUSIC favorite that indeed it is Christian Ryder’s own favorite of his own music from this album, as he confessed in a 2010 interview. A melancholic, yet groovy and superb piece, “Grey Is not Enough” is a great listen and a mood booster that you need to keep in your survival playlist for sure!

What You Wanna Do with Your Life” is less technically inspired than previous tracks, but nevertheless carries on a complex texture message-wise and puts a limit situation in context. We liked “Dancing Days”, although on a first listen it is difficult to place it in the album – that is to say, the 3-some tracks listened to before did not strike so evidently eclectic as this one here, so “Dancing Days” deserves a separate entry, most likely one on how to give the entire album a facelift with just one track! So is “Love Hideout”; though emotive in constructions, it musters the power to convince. Next, “Masterplan” is truly a master plan, with enough action movie and quest game prompts, a master plan which is about survival and keeping reality within the bounds of sanity.

Psychoanalysis for the Masses”, a track interspersed with dream-like fragments from Lord Byron in Italian force upon the listener the feeling of darkness and monumentality, dimensions that are mapped on the song itself. After a crystalline interlude provided via “Breathe with Me”, a very pure edge and really teasing and sensuous atmosphere is enacted in “We’re NOT Underground”, a song that redefines the notion of underground itself. “Marry Me”, a powerful, anthemic, electronic piece, eclectic in the choice of instrument is next, a truly refined track followed by “Stagioni” – if we don’t count in the hidden track “Consensi”, it is the only track in Italian on the album, thus providing one of the rare instances when electronica with Italian lyrics is at stake, and does a wonderful job. The mini-story on the encounter of lovers is cut short by a song from the same vein that gave you earlier “Masterplan”, namely a tell-tale titled “Interrupted Boys”.

Colours in Life” is strong, atmospheric, enticing, intellectual but at the same time playful – the longest track on the album, and also the one that gives the title of the album, it is full of turns and upheavals, while the lyric-less interval opens up a seamless space where music is, pure and simple, at ease.

A closing “Consensi” is hidden in the album, again, a song in Italian, oozing with cultural references that are resorted to in order to explain what happens when we need cultural artifacts in order to make sense of feelings and antagonisms.

Colours in Life” is a great album worth listening to and listening to again. The fresh add-on it brings to electronic music may not be apparent to omnivorous listeners, but to the few that dwell a lot on electronica it will for sure have that special tingling that tells, this is a good find, and more, one to cherish.

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