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Paris, France (1997 – 2003)

S/E/L/F is a trip hop French band created in Paris in 1997 by Remky (keyboards, programming, and occasionnally vocals) and Vii-Pii (guitars, programming).
The initial duet quickly evolved into a trio with the addition of female lead vocalist
Sandra who stayed with the band for 2 years and contributed her aerial lyrics on “Past Our Eyes”, first track on Thump E.P..

Carolyn then became S/E/L/F’s lead vocalist. Her vocals can sound amazing as she shows by and large on this E.P.’s next 3 titles, especially on “Thump”, sometimes reminescent of Heather Nova. This track is incidentally representative of S/E/L/F’s unique style with heavy beats typical of trip hop sound surprisingly contrasting with vocals of pop descent, not unlike Archive’s second album.
Third track “Empty Room” confirms the trend, with vocals progressively moving from soft to powerful. Vii-Pii’s guitar is largely present on this track, that overall sounds closer to electropop than trip hop per se.
Then comes the 4th track and this E.P.’s masterpiece “Outside”. This song, a true trip hop jewel, reminds of Massive Attack for its inspiration and quality.
Judging by the potential of this E.P. in general and “Outside” in particular, trip hop is no longer limited to Bristol and S/E/L/F could become the leader of French trip hop/electropop.
Alas, S/E/L/F eventually disbanded in 2003, after an adieu concert at Glazart in Paris (see pictures) and members split on 3 continents to pursue their respective careers.

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