WuW is the creative outpouring of two brothers, Benjamin and Guillaume Colin, both classically trained percussionists and veterans of the Paris music scene. Having played in jazz ensembles, classical contemporary orchestras, world-music troupes and alongside traditional Middle Eastern musicians – this striving for challenging playing and evocative musical atmospheres all enriched the vast sound-collage that became WuW. On March 27th WuW return with their sophomore album – Rétablir L’Eternité – an invitation to slow down and immerse yourself in their offering of experimental, progressive instrumental missives.
The classical-meets-experimental ethos of WuW means that Rétablir L’Eternité may be welcome listening for fans of Amenra, Anna von Hausswolff or Ben Frost, however they remain a band that remain elusive in terms of easy categorisation. Their cinematic soundscapes are heavier on the drone-ambient and metal elements compared to their debut, but the tracks on Rétablir L’Eternité retain a majestic and purifying quality. The artist Brian Cougar has captured this feeling of dark vertigo in the spellbinding artwork.
Rétablir L’Eternité will be released via Prosthetic Records on March 27. In the meantime you can read about 3 releases that have influenced Guillaume Colin a lot in his musical upbringing…
Pink Floyd – Atom Heart Mother
Everybody likes Pink Floyd. Everything has been told or written about them and their music. But they are still one of my favourite bands ever.
Pink Floyd is one of the bands our parents used to listen a lot at home. But not Atom Heart Mother. One album that reminds me especially of my childhood, holidays, sunny weekends with friends, is Wish You Were Here. It instantly gives me a feeling of serenity, quietness and peacefulness. It transfers me to the very old times, as music can do. Neither is Atom Heart Mother my favourite album which, if I had to choose one, would probably be Meddle and his masterpiece ‘Echoes’.
When I was about 16, I was musically (and generally…) focused on metal and more precisely on black metal and death metal. Some doom metal sparked my interest too, such as Anathema (I could have chosen The Silent Enigma for this exercise), My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost… One day, I decided to look into my parents’ vinyl collection and stopped on this cow, this absurd (I probably thought that at that time) artwork I did know of course, but for which I had no idea about the music coming with. I liked Pink Floyd though, so I was quite confident and decided to play it in my room. And that first side with this 23 minutes track was a total revelation. It had everything to fit in with my musical expectations at that time, some very powerful and heavy parts supported by a brass section and a choir, some melancholic melodies, some dissonances and oppressive parts, arrangements with crossed melodies…. From that day, Pink Floyd was not only just my parents’ (and their generation) music, but it was also mine. And it made all the difference. I played that side hundreds of times in the next weeks and month after that, but it took me years to turn the vinyl and appreciate the poppy psychedelic songs on the B side.
Emperor – Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk
Benjamin (my brother and other half of WuW) and I discovered black metal in 1995 or 1996, I can’t exactly remember. We were about 16 and 13 and it was a revolution in our perception of music even if we were already into metal. And it quickly became some kind of obsession. Even if all the stories happened only a few years before, they already belonged to history, to the legend. And for us, at that time, it seemed very far away. When the information came that Emperor was recording a new album, a part of that legend came back from the past. We had a lot of expectations and could have an idea with the E.P. Reverence, which came a few months earlier, but it was not enough to get an idea.
I can remember the first time I listened to Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk and I can remember that I didn’t understand anything. I was truly stunned. Too much information, too many notes, too many riffs. Listen after listening, it became obvious that it was one of the best things I’ve ever heard. This progressive and cosmic blend of black metal and death metal was unique.
I still listen to this album from time to time, with the same pleasure and a share of astonishment.
YOB – Clearing the Path to Ascend
In April 2014, I was at Roadburn Festival with friends of mine. One day, one of them told me “Hey, tomorrow morning I’m going to a press listening session of the next YOB album. Come with me!” I can’t remember what time it was scheduled, but I can remember it was much too early for a festival day morning. Anyway, I couldn’t miss that, even with a severe headache. So, on the next morning, I was sitting with about 20 other people in a small room in the basement of one of the buildings, on a “as ordinary as it could be” plastic chair. Mike Scheidt, after greeting everyone, just told us the album was just coming back from mastering and very few people listened to it before us.
Ok, so let’s go. The first thing you hear when you play that album is “Time to wake up!”. “So appropriate” I thought. And then, I was totally captured by the music for the next hour. When it was finished, after ‘Marrow’, the masterpiece, I can remember everyboby staying seated in the silence, for a while. I tought “I will have to wait for the release and listen it again, but I think this is by far their best album” (I already was a fan of their music). And I still think it is: each track is perfectly built, the tracks order is perfect and, at that time, it was their heaviest and most sensitive release. I think it is still the one with the best balance between these two sides.
Above all, I find admirable to be able to compose a seventh album of this quality. That kind of artist is rare.