For 13 years, Temenik Electric has been blurring the tracks with its epic pop, its Arabian-rock and its electro-oriental trances. More than a decade of handling the art of the opposite, disorienting languages and gazes, crossing identities and territories. 2 EPs, 2 albums and 200 concerts later, the Marseille collective led by Mehdi Haddjeri is still a combo free from clichés and ready-to-think. A rock sensation that is revealed more in the mists of his latest opus.
– NEWS –
New video live at the Mediator, Perpignan
With this new album, the group goes further, or closer, depending on the point of view, sketching out a sound geography like these neighborhoods nestled in the heart of large megalopolises, these maze of streets embalmed with familiar and foreign scents. at the same time, punctuated by melodies escaping from inner courtyards.
In these spaces, we are here and a little elsewhere too. It could be Little Italy, Little Odessa, Little Spain or Little Syria, but in the hot vapors and eucalyptus-laden air, TEMENIK ELECTRIC has swept aside the community question to explore the world of intimacy. Dive into the big bath of LITTLE HAMMAM.
Back in pictures. The story of TEMENIK ELECTRIC follows the winding path of a caravan. From the Algerian dunes of Beni-Abbès in 2007 to the first album OUESH HADA in 2013 (elected Top Album by the English reference, Songlines), from its Mediterranean foundations to the biggest European festivals, the Marseille group gave birth to its project under happy auspices.
The following opus INCH’ALLAH BABY (2015), with Justin Adams at the helm in the mythical Real World Studios of Peter Gabriel (UK), had confirmed a sure taste for Arabian-rock, for the tours led drum beating and the concert halls transformed into dance floors. Coming out of this whirlwind, singer-guitarist Mehdi Haddjeri felt the need to weave a more personal story, no doubt. A temptation of purity.
From then on, in a delicate ritual without overbidding or brilliance, TEMENIK ELECTRIC slowly regenerated itself to offer itself a new sound epidermis. A leather where feelings and introspective songs are exacerbated, a power-rock with oriental flavors, spices of house music and Gnawa trances that swell and electrify. Because behind the apparently peaceful atmospheres, LITTLE HAMMAM today houses the most rock torments, always ready to spring up.
WHEN THE VOICE COMES BARE…
At the forefront of this fire, the voice leads the way and frolics feverishly in several climates. She whispers, chants, confides, weaves, incantes to end up freeing herself in gimmicks and melodies shouted and sung in Arabic or French…
To sink into this imaginary space of LITTLE HAMMAM is first of all to stroll with this voice, to slide from cross to cross, avoid dead ends and land at the corner of a crossroads to see life pass by, the love and death. Mix the excitement and see what we can extract from all this. Of these missed appointments or these uncertain expectations that surface on the tracks of M’CHA O JET, SITN’ GOULEK or ESTANA FIK.
From exile and its questions to impossible answers and this mirage of a fantasized native land as in ERLESH JEOU or SANS GÊNES. The atmosphere is imperceptibly veiled and the controlled emotion tends to loosen up to better turn into a powerful lament.
But the challenge of LITTLE HAMMAM is above all to stir up contrasts with ardor: to deliver pop songs which make their dark parts iridescent in the light and which twirl with alawi rhythms, well-tempered rock riffs, trip goldsmithery -hop and with finely braided harmonies.
FIRE AND EMOTIONS ON THE SKIN
And we feel when listening to the album that the smoldering fire continues to grow in an unusual form. Vivacious and condensed. Restrained but ready to roar in scathing revolt on REDOUA GRID or in festive outpourings on the irresistible BEIT BARRA. And undoubtedly on the dance machine MANICH MALEIK obviously dedicated to great collective jubilation in concert.
Behind the skin-deep emotions and the flamboyant flights, it is indeed the meanders of an intimacy that are traversed over the course of the 11 titles. Both dark and bright, sometimes cloudy and more often nuanced than in turn. Alternating temperatures and variations that punctuate the writing, we immerse ourselves in LITTLE HAMMAM as in a restorative bath, celebrating the living and the permanence of the absent. “You will know her in my dreams” whispers Mehdi Haddjeri on BARKANI in a soothing promise that seems to cross the album from one side to the other.
TEMENIK ELECTRIC thus displays its new face, willingly composite. Moving and powerful. Complex and uninhibited. Mutant and Mediterranean. It is as much about the progress of its leader as it is about a renewed crew with Florent Sallen on drums, Fred Alvernhe on machines and Christophe Isselée on guitars and oud. Around Mehdi and the precious co-founder Jérôme Bernaudon on bass, the ensemble shapes its arrangements – sometimes lyrical – and electro textures that consolidate a sound always stamped Arabian-rock. More than ever with LITTLE HAMMAM. Body and soul for TEMENIK ELECTRIC. Inhabited by the certainty of having signed an album which will make a mark for having succeeded in the difficult bet of rallying the two shores. Those of the intimate and the universal…
– LINE-UP –
Mehdi Haddjeri (Lead Vocal / Guitar)
Florent Sallen (Drums)
Jérome Bernaudon (Bass, Backing Vocal)
Frédéric Alvernhe (Set Mix)
Christophe Isselee (Guitar)