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CHROMB! biography
Hailing from Lyon, CHROMB! are a quartet formed in the early 2010?s. They have released two albums, simply titled "I" (2012) and "II" (2014), and played over a hundred concerts in their home country (including the 2014 edition of the RIO Festival in Carmaux) and in other European countries, and also participated in a jazz festival in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso.

CHROMB! describe their music as "reinforced chamber music for emotional adults and wild children". Among their main influences, they cite JOHN ZORN, THE RESIDENTS and SOFT MACHINE, as well as Japanese noise-rock outfit MELT BANANA and French cartoonist Pierre la Police.

Raff (Raffaella Berry)

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CHROMB! discography

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CHROMB! top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.67 | 3 ratings
4.40 | 5 ratings
4.00 | 7 ratings
3.00 | 2 ratings
Le Livre des Merveilles

CHROMB! Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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CHROMB! Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 1000 by CHROMB! album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.00 | 7 ratings

CHROMB! RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars I first became aware of the Lyon-based label Dur et Doux when Sean Worrall of the mighty Organ and I were talking one day, and he suggested I search out Le Grand Sbam. I was greatly impressed as to what I heard so made contact with the label where Clément Dupuis suggested some other bands I may also like to discover, the first being CHROMB! They are a quartet, comprising Léo Dumont (drums, percussions, small objects, vocals), Camille Durieux (synthesizers, keyboards, piano, vocals), Lucas Hercberg (bass, synthesizers, vocals) and Antoine Mermet (alto saxophone, vocals, synthesizers, delay pedal), and this 2016 release was their third album. To get an understanding of the band, it is probably easiest to get an understanding of the label with which they are working, Dur et Doux. This is taken from the label site, "Dur et Doux is a collective of musicians, a label and a production structure that praises the amplification and the unusual. Founded in 2008, it now gathers around 30 musicians based in and around Lyon and the Loire and Ain departments?Dur et Doux invents places of acrobatic amplified music in which almost anything can happen. A child of the erudite (dodecaphonism, electroacoustics, atonality) and popular sound revolutions (the invention of the electric guitar, jazz and improvisation), Dur et Doux creates a unique musical space that is open to the world and its music styles, while maintaining a sane mistrust for reductive labels."

Here we have a band who are pushing boundaries, creating music without electric guitar which takes Zappa, Soft Machine, The Residents, John Zorn and Art Zoyd into logical and illogical extremes, blending sounds which have no place being put together, to create something which is strangely enthralling and enticing while at the same time also being harsh and abrasive. They use atonality almost as a weapon to distract the listener when things could almost be getting too commercial and poptastic. It is challenging music, RIO, where there really are no limits. There is a sense of humour, playfulness even, within some of the sounds, but the result is always something which many music lovers are going to find too harsh to be enjoyed.

Me? It makes me thing of when I got my first tattoo, "one more of us and one less of them", as if you find this and like it then you will be part of a collective from which there is no returning. This is music which is challenging, yet is intriguing and real, unlike so much which pervades the airwaves. People need to find this out for themselves, they will never hear it being played on commercial radio, as this is music which makes us think. Harmony vocals are sprinkled through the album, complexity and tight playing with weird time signatures and hooks are de rigeur. Not for the fainthearted, but a delight all the same.

 1000 by CHROMB! album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.00 | 7 ratings

CHROMB! RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams

4 stars Oh such a delightful touch reminds me of French avantgarde progressive communes. This album "1000" released in 2016 by a promising and expressing French killers CHROMB! (thanks to Clement in Dur Et Doux label for a brilliant suggestion) has crazy excessive appearances here and there.

In the beginning of the first strike "Des Francis En Quinconce" an eccentric electronic explosion like a childish quarrel absorbs the audience definitely. Pretty comfortable is a combination of jazz rock coolness and mysterious electronica. Quirky percussive voices reminds me of a French obscurity Super Freego. Such a magnificence cannot help giving us a big surprise and massive impression.

Contrary to the first one, we should get relaxed in mystic chorus and danceable groove in "Bobby" with some dissected sound texture out of prediction. "Favrice" has quite innovative anti-majority-like soundscape seasoned with slight tragic spice. We can find Krautrock- ish distorted psychedelia (like Siinai) mixed with warped anti-pop and avantgarde jazz Fantasia in "Le Tombeau Est Vide". Cannot estimate what they would launch as the next melodic strategy.

Obvious pleasant moments can usually be heard in complicated vibes and movements ... e.g. in a perfect greeting "Bonjoure". Constructive, contractive phrase variations to shoot addictive heartache to the audience can be found in"La Nuit Des Madames" ... mystic rhythmic / melodic lines really. A confusing ambient collection "Die Krabben Leben Noch" is another fave of mine, filled with drastically psychic sound material. This colourful exaggerated stream takes us the final stage "Il En Fallait" drenched in almost all of their musical essences.

Apparent comfort full of impression should be kept in our ears, beyond explanation. Kinda sarcastic and stimulative creation must be fine for every progressive rock freak yuppie ... addiction, it's real addiction.

 1000 by CHROMB! album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.00 | 7 ratings

CHROMB! RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars '1000' - CHROMB! (77/100)

I originally became acquainted with the work of the CHROMB! guys through a past project of theirs, PoiL. Dur et Doux, the longstanding collaboration of Léo Dumont and Camille Durieux ("Hard and Soft" in French-- a clever play on their surnames) never strays from whimsical avant-prog however, so I wouldn't have batted an eye if this had been marketed as the next PoiL album. Challengingly atonal arrangements and lowbrow Zappa-esque humour are going to be staples for this French collective for probably as long as they live. At the end of the day, this is the Rock in Opposition you might already love or hate, being brought into the 21st century. CHROMB! may not be quite as relevant as Univers Zero or another of their forebears, but their sound is every bit as tight and challenger to the undaunted listener.

Even if this is the first time I've heard of CHROMB!, there's been music released under the name at least since 2012. Their two albums before this were called I and II respectively. Calling their third album 1000 seems like a clever way for CHROMB! to jump the shark. What was IX supposed to sound like? What of the zealous fan cults that could have sprung if they had seen fit to release 487? While the overabundant humour in bands of this nature usually get on my nerves, I have to say that the way the Dur et Doux collective stand out most from their equally-proficient RIO peers is that the humour actually works. At least when it comes to the non-musical aspects of their work, from titles and lyrics to the aesthetic, they've got a way of tickling wit like few others in their class have managed. I still think I prefer the ultra-serious approach of bands like Shub-Niggurath and Univers Zero, but considering the bad Zappa humour is usually something I've struggled with in avant-prog, the success of CHROMB!'s whimsy is all to their credit.

After having been wowed by PoiL's maniacal tightness and avant-weirdness, I'm not surprised at all that CHROMB! enjoys the same merits. Despite all tongues-in-cheek, 1000 is very serious, formal- sounding music. Slower sections mess around with weird, uncomfortable harmonies; faster sections do the same while throwing in unpredictable times and ample space for the musicians to push themselves. I do think this sort of highly technical avant-prog went out of style around the time bands like The Mars Volta and Porcupine Tree usurped the prog mantle. Even so, it wouldn't be hard to see the RIO niche get bigger if bands like CHROMB! continue to outdo themselves in terms of their musicianship.

Even if 1000 can be summarized effectively by the whimsical avant-prog description, there's still a ton of variety in between. "Bonjoure" is a fantastic fast jam in dissonant RIO tradition. Martial basswork thunders below playfully anxious alto sax, wrapping up with near-perfect band tightness. They are able to flow from frantic material like that to warmer vocal sections, replete with choral harmonies at no cost to the general weirdness. It would be easy to dismiss CHROMB! as being weird for weirdness' sake. That theory overlooks how deceptively coherent 1000 is as a work. I've heard some similar avant-prog in the past few weeks that sounded almost painful in the way they would cram so much into an album without rhyme or reason. For CHROMB!, their "reason" is probably still to make people laugh and have fun as much as a SoCal pop-punk band, but make no mistake: CHROMB!'s silly charm and playfulness is backed up by a very real intelligence and direction. I really hope to hear more of this sort of stuff in the future.

Thanks to raff for the artist addition.

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