Ohh La La Festival: TOMORROW’S WORLD // 24.10 // VILLAGE UNDERGROUND
On Thursday I went to the Village Underground excited by the idea of listening to the new project of Air’s Jean-Benoît Dunckel and former New Young Pony Club member Lou Hayter: Tomorrow’s World. The sound of this project is the sum of the background of its two members: Lou brings the laid back voice and the sex appeal and Jean-Benoît brings the mathematical electronic constructions from Air. My respect for Air’s discography is immense and I love the uncomplicated pop of New Young Pony Club so I was disappointed to discover that the sum of these two talented musicians wasn’t as interesting as I had hoped.
The Tomorrow’s World concert had some good moments like ‘Drive’ and ‘You Taste Sweeter’. In fact this last track revealed what they can achieve together. It’s a very bittersweet song. The synths are dense , the electronic layers fill the air and Hayter’s voice is somehow both vulnerable and confident, wandering through the exactitude of the analytic percussion. But my expectation – even being familiar with their album – was that I would hear a band that would give me something new and that didn’t happen.
Collaborations between elements of different bands are common, some of them with amazing results. For example, just listen to Dead Weather’s album or ‘Garden’s Heart’, the recent and beautiful collaboration between Natasha Khan (Bat for Lashes) and Jon Hopkins for the film ‘How I Live Now’. But here it felt that Jean-Benoît never managed to leave his comfort zone and in other hand that Lou Hayter never found one. I guess that these musicians embarked on this collaboration because they each wanted to deliver a fresh approach to their own understanding of music. Sadly, after the concert I got the impression that Tomorrow’s World is not a step forward in their careers. It’s not a step back either. It’s a project that despite the good intentions never really reveals the convictions behind its creation.
Adding two positive values, the rules suggest that the result should be an even greater positive value but music is not maths and art doesn’t really follow the certainties of science. The answers might sometimes be disappointing but this unpredictability is what makes music worth listening to.