Astrid - High Blues
"These days, it's quite an unlikely event that a non-Norwegian artist will end up releasing a record on Rune Grammofon. But when presented with these recordings, the label realized that this was simply too good to turn down. French group Astrïd began with founding members Cyril Secq and Yvan Ros back in 1997 first as a guitar/drums duo before the arrival of violinist Vanina Andreani the year after and clarinetist Guillaume Wickel in 2005. Since 2007, they have lived and worked between Nantes and Marseille. The music of Astrïd has roots in improvised music, ambient, '70s folk and jazz, classical and contemporary music from Ravel to Pärt. There's also a kinship to artists such as Philip Glass, Brian Eno, Mark Hollis, No Neck Blues Band and Rachel's (who they have played with several times) but first and foremost, they have established a unique and personal chamber music seamlessly mixing instruments, structures and approaches from both rock and classical music. When it comes to concerts, Astrïd tend to perform in places like theaters, churches, galleries and dance places. The name "Astrïd" dates back to before the group started, when leader Cyril Secq was making a number of demos while trawling through the whole of The Beatles Anthology and being fascinated by their association with German photographer Astrid Kirchherr and her influence on them. He was in search of a name for his music and didn't want the typical French or British solutions. The "ï" was the result of another band in Scotland at the time with the same name. High Blues is Astrïd's third album following two releases on the Arbouse Recordings label, Music For (2004) and & (2008). Cyril Secq (guitars, bowed guitars, harmonium, Juno), Yvan Ros (drums, percussion, double bass), Vanina Andreani (violin, kalimba) and Guillaume Wickel (clarinet, bass clarinet, harmonium, Rhodes)."