Thomas Belhom
Cheval Oblique
CD/LP Distributed by A-Musik, Cologne   AE001 - SOLD OUT!
February 16, 2007

"wunderbar großzügige Perkussionistenplatte ****" - Le Musterkoffer.de

"Food for thought. En van een bijzondere, minimale schoonheid." - subjectivisten.org

"... it’s like the best Can record never made combined with a Konono No.1, but recorded lovingly to slightly worn cassette tape. Really, experimental music fans, post rockers and indie kids should unite hand in hand and praise the genius of Thomas Belhom for putting together such an earth shaking collection of innovative drum music. (...) Huge recommendation." boomkat

Download the album from iTunes: here


Cheval Oblique is Belhom's 5th solo record. All homerecorded basic tracks with sparse studio overdubs. What seems lose and –in a jazz sense– lush improvised is carefully composed. Belhom is one uncomparable musician and Cheval Oblique is a Spaziergang of a record.

There are guests.  The brilliant Pierre Favard  laying down a sun-ra-esque organ on Who's Who. There is Volker Zander on bass (Porto Cesareo). There are Cécile Legare and Jérôme de Pascual on trombone and trumpet on Electrolyse. Some very carefully placed field recordings are the only moments on the record, where spoken language appears.


Biography
Belhom got a drum set for his 14th birthday. "The happiest moment in my life." After living way too long with hippie parents and their circus friends, "I got sick of it, I became Hardcore." Belhom moves to Paris, plays in Hardcore and Punk bands, forms a improv theatre and music group, besides this starts working as pyro technician in the Catalan theatrum monstrum La Fura dels Baus. He experiments with "straight edge" and "being a scooter driving mod". He reads Lacan, listens to The Kinks, Hüsker Dü, Chet Baker.

Belhom moves to Tucson, Arizona, to live a dream with his musical partner Naim Amor. It's the end of the 90s and the question is „Where is a real place?“ The Amor/Belhom Duo is looking for Cadillacs and dry emptyness in opposition to Ibis Hotel Paris trash. The scene in Tucson: urban camouflage, thrift store economics, Spoke era Calexico, Al Foul, Al Perry, Bob Log III. Belhom falls in love with painter Viva Yazon. They marry and move back to Le Mans into a post 9/11 world with "fucking borders".

The good thing about booking shows for Thomas Belhom is club owners know him, love him. He toured a lot. He played with Naim and his Amor/Belhom Duo all over the US and EU. Thomas backed up David Grubbs or the French singer Red. Since 2008 Belhom is the drummer for the Tindersticks.

But Thomas Belhom is best in his own element, when he sets the tone of a night, when he switches from loop to beat, from sticks to brushes, from Jazz to Gamelan, when he swings and sings around on his drum stool.

The Record
Cheval Oblique is Belhom's fifth solo record. All homerecorded basic tracks with sparse studio overdubs. What seems lose and –in a jazz sense– lush improvised is carefully composed. Belhom is one uncomparable musician and Cheval Oblique is a Spaziergang of a record.

There are guests.  The brilliant Pierre Favard  laying down a sun-ra-esque organ on Who's Who. There is Volker Zander on bass (Porto Cesareo). There are Cécile Legare and Jérôme de Pascual on trombone and trumpet on Electrolyse. Some very carefully placed field recordings are the only moments on the record, where spoken language appears.

A Concert
October 16, 2006. A monday night. La Laiterie, Strasbourg, France. The small club is filled up. Used-to-be-ravers sit on the floor. The renewed folk thing. Vollbärte. C'est le era postelectronique? Belhom gets behind his set of drums. "When I live in France / it's different" he starts singing. He records a guitar loop on his ancient loop-pedal, makes a 180° on his drum stool, turns his back to the audience, picks up his brushes and ...  that's were the game starts. Belhom barely touches the drums and his birthday party of tools and things used as percussions. His drumming is in constant tune with the loop, but seldom a steady beat. It's fluent, light, sparkeling drumming. This procedure (the loop, the song, the lush non-repetitive beat, the "gongs" and "blinks" ) continue for the next 50 mesmerizing minutes.

Thomas Belhom on myspace here
and his own website www.thomasbelhom.com


Tracklist and Production Notes

01. Heaven 5:04 - TB: drums, percussions, synthesizer, accordion. 02. Who's who?  2:55 - TB: drums, loop source: record ("Raël" from The Who) with "wax preparation". Pierre Favard: organ. 03. 7000 Islands 3:02 - TB: percussions, synthesizer, guitars, field recordings: farm animals in grandville, France. 04. Oblique 7:25 - TB : drums, percussions, guitars, synthesizer, reversed tape. 05. Boulangerie 0:34 - TB: field recording: boulangerie in grandville, France. 06. Aircraft 3:29 - TB: drums, percussions, synthesizer. Jean-François Chauffour: montage. 07. Mont St Michel 0:58 - TB: field recording: streets of mont st michel, france. 08. Pianomeka  2:24 - TB: drums, percussions, synthesizer, toy piano. Cécile Legare: trombone. 09. Electrolyse 5:44 - TB: drums, percussions, guitars, synthesizer. Cécile Legare: trombone. Jérôme de Pascual: trumpet. 10. Banjo 1:36 - TB: banjo, percussions on electric guitar. 11. Sushi 2:57 - TB: drums, percussions. 12. Porto Cesareo 3:07 - TB: drums, electric guitar, accordion, synthesizer, gopichank. Volker Zander: contrabass, violoncello, Jean-François Chauffour: montage. 13. Cheval 3:43 - TB: drums, percussions, synthesizer, kazoo. Total Time  43:04