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Black Strobe

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Paris, France (1996 – present)

What connects Norwegian black metal, French club anthems and London super-producer Paul Epworth? It sounds like a particularly intractable example of the six degrees of separation game. However, these seemingly irreconcilable points on the musical compass are linked by French dance rock four-piece Black Strobe. A simple enough answer. The explanation is going to take a little bit longer.

Not as long as it took the band – Arnaud Rebotini (vocals and programming), David ‘Siskid’ Shaw (guitars and keyboards), Bastien Burger (bass and keyboards) and Benjamin Beaulieu (drums) – to record their debut album, however. Burn Your Own Church is a record ten years in the making. Happily, it’s worth the wait. Few bands manage to combine guitars and electronics as successfully as Black Strobe do here. First single Shining Bright Star is a stunning marriage of gut-butting bass guitar, droning synth and Arnaud’s menacing but melodic vocals. The opening track is called Brenn Di Ega Kjerke, Norwegian for ‘burn your own church’ and a nod to principal songwriter Arnaud’s fascination with the extreme sound of so-called black metal. Accordingly, it’s a crunchingly heavy song, pulsing synths colliding with guitars inspired by My Bloody Valentine’s 1991 album Loveless. It’s a darkly captivating formula repeated with great success on Blood Shot Eyes and You Should Be. The flip side to the band’s personality is Girl Next Door, as downbeat and spooky as a 4AM walk home.

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