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Les Panties \ Cold Science [TWI 1227 CD]

Cold Science is a 2016 singles anthology by Les Panties, the stylish Brussels new wave group featuring Sophie Frison, Hugo Fernandez, Sebastien Decupere and Paul Normann.

The ten track CD features all tracks from the three singles and EPs released by the band on their own Fantomes label between 2011 and 2015, including No Run and Here & Now. Don't be fooled by the throwaway name - the poised, retro-futuristic sound of Les Panties is every bit as tough as Savages, as godlike as Chvrches, and melodic as School of Seven Bells.

Producers include Ian Caple (Tindersticks, Shreikback), Gilles Martin (Tuxedomoon, Wire, Bel Canto) and Mark Plati (David Bowie, The Cure).

Tracklist:

01. Velvet
02. L'Arrivée
03. The Gate
04. Diving
05. Factory
06. Hazy Days
07. White Tiger
08. Porkshop
09. Westie
10. L'Arrivée V2

Available on CD and digital download. Mailorder copies are shipped in special LDDC slipcase. To order CD please select correct shipping option and click on Add To Cart button below the cover image, or else contact LDDC by email for other payment options.


Watch the clip for L'Arrivée here:

Cold Science [TWI 1227 CD]
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Reviews:

"A cold wave group from Brussels in thrall to Eighties postpunk and synthpop, heavy on European noir glamour and Teutonic froideur. With a very 1980-85 visual sense, and using vintage synths and drum machines for authenticity, they're perfect for people who love bands from that golden era, from The Passions to Propaganda" (Classic Pop, 05/2016)

"A reissue from the past few years (not thirty-five) of singles and EPs the band put out themselves. A young Belgian post-punk revival band with a Peter Hook bass and Sophie Frison's powerful New Wave alto. Having been an avid follower this sort of thing back in the day, I'm as delighted now by it as I would have been then" (RockNerd, 09/2016)

"Ice cool Brussels new wavers Les Panties impress for many reasons. Euphoric pulsing synths, tom-heavy drums and fuzzy guitars all come together for big moments and reappear throughout, each time like an old friend you're rather pleased to see. Opener Velvet couldn't be more aptly named - dark, seductive and strokeable, with Sophie Frison's barely-there vocals radiating pure desire. White Tiger is another highlight, a meditative break from an otherwise driven sound, while the snappy vocal on The Gate still rings in your ears a long time after its all over" (Electronic Sound, 09/2016)

"Les Panties are not, as they could be, a laptops and singer configuration. A fully functioning band, they sport bass, drums, guitar, keyboards and a vocalist. This gives them an edge, as do razor-sharp production, direct arrangements, memorable melodies and Sophie Frison's detached yet declamatory voice. In essence, though they have chosen to emphasise atmosphere they are - as the bands of 35 years ago were - a rock band. What reverberates through this incongruously named Brussels band is a love of cold wave, the Gallic take on post-punk. Meta-music is usually about passion for its reference points, but Les Panties' take on their sources is about the passion with which it is delivered. Velvet builds to the point of triggering a double-check: how can a band this good, this strong, have previously escaped attention? But then, this is what Cold Science is for - to raise awareness of the group" (The Arts Desk, 10/2016)

"Cold Science is a compilation of single tracks recorded over the past two years and it is glorious. Niftily ducking the post punk tag by terming themselves New Wave, somehow Les Panties can't be confused with any of the chancers we've been subjected to over the past decade. What they do just seems natural and not adopted for fashion or profit. Yes, there are influences, but those are only part of the story rather than all of it. At times they remind me a little of French electropunk legends Kas Product, but not enough to be branded copyists in any way. Les Panties veer down many other different avenues too, making them agreeably hard to pin down, and while you're listening you don't spend all your time thinking of other bands who might have done things the same way (but better) long ago - a sign of something a bit tasty.

"A temptation for some would be to focus on singer Sophie Frison, for - yes - she is beguiling, switching from sounding slightly drunk to an icy off-key blast, to warm shots of pure vocal beauty all in the course of a single song. But the music itself provided by Hugo Fernandez, Paul Normann and Sebastian Decupere is perfectly constructed too, electronic for the most part but no mere robot noise, emotional and soaring or tough and relentless as each song requires. Velvet is gorgeous, a pounding bass forcing on the synths with even a little Sundays/Smiths influence in there, but much, much harder. At times they bear comparison with German 80s band Propaganda, on L'Arrivee and Factory, at least if Propaganda had been allowed to play their songs without a producer overloading their records with unnecessary gimmicks. But overall, with Frisson's torch singer touch on Diving, and the layers of musical grandeur that features on White Tiger and Porkshop, Les Panties stamp their own mark indelibly while treading some well-worn sonic thoroughfares. They really are very special indeed and tickled even this jaded soul" (Louder Than War, 08/2016)

"Cold Science is a collection of the singles and EPs the Brussels combo have produced up to this point on their own Fantomes label. When Les Disques du Crépuscule was relaunched a few years ago the aim was to do more than just give a new lease of life to a much-cherished catalogue - they were on the lookout for fresh colts ready to take up the mantle of the iconic label's name and style. After Marsheaux, Les Panties seem exactly what the label's roster needs to rekindle the flame. The record opens with Velvet, a Mancunian ode with a Hook-esque bassline and Morris-like rhythm. It soon becomes clear that the Eighties are not just an influence here but a period to which the band inevitably keep coming back. The rest of the album is in a similar vein. Sophie Frison's singing is very much in Siouxsie and Anne Clark territory. Although there is something anachronistic - not to say retro - about this post-cold wave sound, dismissing the record based on this impression would be unfair even so, as it does sometimes head off in other far more interesting directions, as for instance on the very lovely L'Arrivée V2" (RifRaf, 06/2016)

"Opening track Velvet is a sprawling tetchy epic, Diving is all smoky, sultry pop huskiness and brooding basslines, while the bouncy Hazy Days wouldn't sound out of place on Grimes' first album (after a fashion). Perhaps the key song here is L'Arrivée, presented here in two mixes, a fine slice of synthpop with soaring vocals similar to Siouxsie, pulsating hooks, New Order-esque washes of synth and the all-important big build-up"(Flipside, 09/2016)

"Fascinating and hypnotic music, dominated by the grave but enchanting voice of Sophie Frison" (Peek-a-Boo, 2012)

"Like Savages' Jehnny Beth, Sophie Frison exudes a stylish gothique, and if the spectre of Joy Division and The Cure loom over Cold Science then Frison's vocals and the presence of sparkling string synths make the mood lighter. The use of technology is one of Les Panties' distinguishing attributes and the modern electronic sheen of Soulwax also makes its presence felt. The best is saved until last with a superb sequencer assisted L'Arrivée V2 - already an excellent disco-inflected tune in its original guise" (The Electricity Club, 09/2016)

"Sophie Frison wasn't even born when Propaganda and New Order shook the Manhatten Club in Louvain back in the day, but that's no reason not to love their evocative new wave rock music. Les Panties also use vintage synths and drum machines to ramp up the angst and melancholy, Frison having something of the air of a priestess, like Siouxsie Sioux" (Botanique, 2015)