Experimental folk french piano prepared piano review singer songwriter

Ignatus – Ignatus Chante Le Tenia

Prepared piano and the French afterlife in a library collide in this cooky release.

What does Ignatus sound like?

A broken, prepared piano and talky French musings.

The review of Ignatus – Ignatus Chante Le Tenia

This short, sharp collection of songs from Ignatus has a wild genesis. Inspired by a visit to Paris Media Library, Ignatus was playing with the idea of how to record a tape of music as if he was already a dead singer. This resulted in a piano that was prepared with wood screws to sound both comical and slightly clapped out and broken itself.

photo of Ignatus

The entire release is just this screw-infested piano and the voices of Ignatus, often doubled or tripled whilst taking a talky-singing approach to the delivery. There is a quote on the Bandcamp page from Jean-Luc Le Tenia “my music will die hard” and this release goes in hard with its style. The piano riffs are purposely simple and clunky. Often the bum notes caused by the screws sound like drunken mallets or percussive metal clunks. Indeed, the album sounds drunk as much as it does broken, but that’s its charm. It also helps that no song breaks the two-minute mark so the drunken riffs sound childlike and playful too.

‘Oh Zut’ leans into atonal bonks and clunks with its Madness-esque quirky delivery. Other tracks like ‘Un monstre d’erotisme’ and ‘Bertrand Cantat’ use off-kilter chords and waltzing lilts to appear haphazard. They are rich in character and live long after the music stops. ‘Tu embrasses tous less garcon’ is like a quickfire seaside circus piece, whilst ‘Les Yeux marrons’ evokes French folk-pop with its strident chords. Of course, the piano sounds absolutely trashed but that’s the point of the record. It’s creating music after death and this is like a French Nightmare Before Christmas.

The seven tracks are over in eleven minutes but its brevity is a plus. The songs are so minimal in their structure, they smash out the same riffs for most of the track and the voices get more ghoulish or quirky before the track closes. I’ve only owned the release for a few days and it’s perfect for a palette cleanser when you want something a bit jaunty, a little gothic and a ton of weird. Allez!

Recommended track: Un monstre d’erotisme

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Ignatus - Ignatus Chante Le Tenia



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