24 mai 2003

Hammersmith Apollo

Londres, Royaume Uni


Aphex Twin a fait la première partie de ce concert sous le pseudo ’DJ Smojface’ avec un set assez moyennement apprécié...


Björk walks on stage wearing the kind of dress - garish pink, outsize rosettes on one shoulder, asymmetric puffball skirt, pink and black leggings - that the people who compile fashion pages like to laugh at, not realising she dresses that way because she finds fashion funny.
She seems to have reached some kind of watershed in her career : while Vespertine, her glorious last album, is easily her best, it sees her continuing her retreat from pop music into an esoteric netherworld. Now that pop music has been reduced to stage-school MOR, corporate punk or testosterone-drenched R&B, her eccentricity and otherness are missed all the more.
The new territory she is charting, however, is extraordinary, unlike anything else in contemporary music. Tonight, with a comparatively small band - a handful of string players, a gifted harpist, Drew Daniel and MC Schmidt (work and life partners otherwise known as playful avant-electro duo Matmos) - she draws largely on 1997’s Homogenic, with a tantalising selection of new songs.
There is more rhythmic invention in this show than in the rest of current electronic music. Björk has become a curator of exotic, alien sounds, the latest in a rare lineage that includes Martin Denny, Esquivel, Lalo Schifrin and Yello.
Truly, though, this music sounds like nothing but itself. Hyperballad (the nearest thing to a proper hit on show tonight) and Joga are key : they are songs in which the vicissitudes of love are the spur of poetic experience, songs that crave the inspiration of extremes. When, in Joga, she sings : "This state of emergency - how beautiful to be," it is both infinitely moving and genuinely brave. In the little-heard B-side Generous Palmstroke, against some breathtaking harp playing, she makes public the most intimate, child-like dialogues of lovers - the genius of much of her writing.
Desired Constellation, the first of half a dozen new songs, is accompanied by a film of what appears to be stars, then becomes a swarm of tadpoles that dart and shimmer past before transforming into fantastic aquatic chimeras with polar-bear heads, each propelled by a pulsating human hand. Björk is joined by maverick long-time collaborator Leila for Nameless, an unearthly swoon of refracted wails, sampled live and played back to create a choir of keening Björks.
Then Crave, deliciously obscene with thunderous, rupturing electronics, morphs into the relentless, pulsing detonations of Pluto. Finally - what else ? - fireworks. A thrilling night, exhausting in absolutely the best way.

David Peschek - The Guardian


01. Pagan Poetry
02. 5 Years
03. Hunter
04. Desired Constellation
05. Unravel
06. Jóga
07. All Is Full Of Love
08. Heirloom
09. Generous Palmstroke
10. Nature Is Ancient
11. Hyperballad
12. It’s In Our Hands
13. Nameless
14. An Echo, A Stain
15. Where Is The Line
16. Pluto
17. Scary
18. You’ve Been Flirting Again (Icelandic)
19. Isobel

sur scène

  • Icelandic String Octet
  • Leila Arab
  • Matmos
  • Zeena Parkins


  • Lynn Fox