A 23 track double album that is all at once thoughtful, provocative, controversial and achingly beautiful. Expect politics, post-apocalyptic musings, lust, love and the death of Dylan Thomas.
Drawing from the Kuhl Kollektiv pool of artists, ‘Pas De Deux’ features Cas Greenfield and Mikey Cooling at the heart of the album.
‘Pas De Deux’ includes the singles ‘Halo Of Stars’ - a joyous song of unity, ‘Immortals’ - showing us the indomitable spirit of humankind, and ‘Hold On’ - featuring Henry Cameron Allen and Maddy Harwood with a love song to a planet threatened by ecocide.
‘Pas De Deux’ was recorded in Kuhl’s mountain-top studio in the South of France between May 2018 and October 2019.
Kuhl is an electronic music collective from England and France, formed in 2015. The core of Kuhl is Cas Greenfield (guitar, vocals, keyboards) and Mikey Cooling (guitar, keyboards, vocals), with guest vocalists including Sandra Ireland, Maddy Harwood, and Henry Cameron Allen. Check out the Ubertanz website for the in-depth lowdown on the Kuhl Kollektiv line up, catalogue and musical philosophy.
With dedicated studio time, Kuhl has been able to concentrate entirely on this broad sweep of an album, capturing a cohesive sound that is unique to the band, with songs that have thought-provoking lyrics and intricate music, creating a soundscape that is akin to a series of short stories with dance beats.
Always regarding themselves as a European band, Kuhl now crosses international borders. Cas Greenfield lived in Amsterdam for many years, but currently lives in Stroud, now billed as the Bohemian Capital of The Cotswolds (as well as being the crucible that spawned Extinction Rebellion) while Mikey lives in the Cevennes region of the South of France.
Pas De Deux;
Imagining 'Pas De Deux' as a conventional double album, Kuhl has sequenced the songs into four sides that have both musical and lyrical links. In these days of streaming, the songs are each completely stand-alone, but for those of you with vinyl sensibilities, you might enjoy our original groupings.
Side One takes us through the joyous Euro-pop opening of 'Halo of Stars' through a set of up-tempo but thought-provoking songs including Mikey's yearning 'Breakthrough', the gospel-tinged 'Raise The Roof', a dark game of 'Hide and Seek', the transience of 'Chalk Marks In The Rain' and the life-affirming'Immortals'
Side Two opens with 'Here Is Where The Heart Is' inspired directly by the studio environs, once inhabited by Picasso and many of his contemporaries. 'Eighteen Shots' is a slow, but hard-hitting track that muses on the death of Dylan Thomas, with quotes from both John Donne and Thomas. This takes us through two funky tracks 'Bumping Into Clouds' and 'Crush Hour' to the aching love song 'Breathless'. The closing track on side two is 'Hold On' - a plea to the planet in these times of global warming and the threat of ecocide, featuring guest vocals from Maddy and Henry.
Side Three kicks off with the rollicking 'Absolution' based on an old sea shanty of the 19th century. Followed closely by 'One To One' with its political undertones. 'Lost in Space' continues the theme and brings us to 'Destruction'. 'One Voice' sends the message that Jaw Jaw is indeed preferable to War War… This set concludes with 'One More Summer Of Love' - a dark song that tells a compelling story.
Side Four begins its journey with the eery track 'Hungry Tonight'. Fans of Horror might enjoy this one. 'Mean Girl' is one of those relationship songs and has a great Nah Nah singalong ending. 'Shine' is a little freakout number that finds its origins in Cas's time in Amsterdam, followed closely by 'Deja Voodoo' - another dark and ominous piece. The album closes with the uplifting anthem 'Wheel Of Fortune' - with its 'light at the end of the tunnel' optimism.
‘Kuhl is on a creative high - there’s no stopping us now…