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DEPARTURE INTO THE UNKNOWN

LES RABIATES

Les Rabiates? A look in the French dictionary is no help, the word does not exist in French. But it is immediately clear what is meant: rough, uncouth music with a strong touch of darkness. And it is precisely these kinds of songs that can be found on “Destination Unknown”, the new album by the band from Bremen. It comes in heavy 180g vinyl and spins at 45 rpm, so it is a maxi-LP – not a bad decision in times of renewed interest in vinyl.

Les Rabiates have been around for quite some time. In 2009, the CD “Ein Kiosk mit elf Millionen Nachten” was released as a collaboration between Les Rabiates and the German-Polish poet Artur Becker, whose absurdly twisted and complex poetry the band congenially painted with a kind of ruffian jazz to Becker’s recitation. The next coup followed in the same year with the CD single “Bastard”, in which the quartet worked for the first time with the Spanish singer CaLi, but also operated with German lyrics, which the band’s founder Achim Gätjen, actually a saxophonist, sings and speaks with a deep, growling bass. Singer CaLi is also present on the current album “Destination Unknown”, now as a permanent band member.

On “Destination Unknown”, Les Rabiates stage a crashing, driving, and then tenderly lyrical dark rock in singer/songwriter style, in which the color black predominates: Here, Cohen, Cave and Cash are sitting on the Velvet Underground sofa in Warhol’s Factory – the latter mainly because CaLi’s voice is somewhere between Nico and Patti Smith. Les Rabiates are also lounging on this sofa, and they feel right at home here. The lyrics are in English and Spanish, although the composer Achim Gätjen found his inspiration not in Spain but – surprise! – in Greece.

Of course, Les Rabiates have a history. For years, Achim Gätjen experimented with the band Swim Two Birds, which played a kind of ruffian jazz with literary aspirations. The band name itself suggests this, as it is derived from the novel of the same name by the Irishman Flann O’Brien. Swim Two Birds have worked with spoken word performers (most recently with the aforementioned Artur Becker). The septet with its strong brass section is now history. With Les Rabiates, Gätjen is now partly following the rabid music of Swim Two Birds, but on the other hand this is also a decisive step in a new direction, especially since there are no more brass instruments at all, but instead a lot of work is done with samples, analogue keyboard sounds and very distinctive guitar with powerful drums.

Les Rabiates was founded in September 2008. The line up was Achim Gätjen (sax, vocals), Jens Ahlers (drums), Ralf Benesch (git, sax), Michael Berger (analogue keys). Les Rabiates works with various artists and musicians. In the beginning of 2009 Les Rabiates worked together with the German/Polish writer and poet Artur Becker. The first album “Eine Kiosk mit elf Millionen Nächten” was published at fuego (Bremen/Germany).
At the end of October 2009 the 6-track online album “Bastard” with CALi, a singer from Spain has been released.

The new album “Destination Unknown” released March 2013. Line up: Achim Gätjen (voc.), CALi (voc., perc), Jens Ahlers (drums), Andy Einhorn (git), Michael Berger (keys).

ra|bi|at <adj.; -er, -este> [lat. rabiatus = angry, adj. 2nd part of: rabiare = to rage rabiat adj (angry) furious, (raw) rough, brutal, (reckless) ruthless.
(c) Dudenverlag

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DISCOGRAPHY

2024         SEA OF LOVE

FUEGO RECORDS

2017         Ein Kiosk mit 11 Millionen Nächten

FUEGO RECORDS

2014         MANNA MACHINE

FUEGO RECORDS

2014         LE MONDE ES À TOI

FUEGO RECORDS

2013         DESTINATION UNKNOWN

FUEGO RECORDS

2009        BASTARD

FUEGO RECORDS

2014         DER TOTE MANN AUF DEM FRIEDHOF

                 GEHT NACH HAUSE

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