NLF3: Pink Renaissance

First for three years from instrumental Gallic types.

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This French trio have been at it for a while now, either under their first incarnation (Prohibited) or as experimental noise-rock voyagers NLF3, a name they began adopting around the turn of the millennium.

Led by brothers Nicolas and Fabrice Laureau – aka Don Nino and F/Lor – they’re nothing if not eclectic. Previous efforts, like 2009’s Ride On A Brand New Time, owed as much to the minimalist school of Steve Reich as to the loose tropicalia of Tom Zé. Pink Renaissance finds them pruning back the funk to allow their bubbling electronica to grow free. The title track and Chromatic in particular find them in restlessly inventive mode, the melodies twisting over a tangle of liquid rhythms and tempos. Despite the sheer breadth of influences, they pitch their instrumental excursions as somewhere between an imaginary movie score and a kind of psychedelia. Here they’re mostly filmic, creating cool vistas of sound that occasionally feel like the product of fellow countryman and Zombie Zombie man Etienne Jaumet. While it occasionally comes over as a little bloodless, music for heads rather than feet, there’s more than enough chicanery to fix your attention.

Rob Hughes

Freelance writer for Classic Rock since 2008, and sister title Prog since its inception in 2009. Regular contributor to Uncut magazine for over 20 years. Other clients include Word magazine, Record Collector, The Guardian, Sunday Times, The Telegraph and When Saturday Comes. Alongside Marc Riley, co-presenter of long-running A-Z Of David Bowie podcast. Also appears twice a week on Riley’s BBC6 radio show, rifling through old copies of the NME and Melody Maker in the Parallel Universe slot. Designed Aston Villa’s kit during a previous life as a sportswear designer. Geezer Butler told him he loved the all-black away strip.