20° 30′ S 29° 20′ W
Reviewed by: Bryan Culver
Have you ever felt disoriented? Out-of-body? Vertiginous? Perhaps someone abruptly interrupted you from a lucid daydream. Or you stood up to fast. Perhaps a combination of exhaustion, anxiety, and too much caffeine. For a minute you’re caught off-guard, perplexed, completely detached from reality.
Caandides are a French three-piece that encapsulate this frazzled sensation. Their music is best described as freak folk – a typically domestic brew of psychedelic noise bursts, sporadically fused with off-kilter samples, embodying an art free of form, connecting the vivid sense of vision to the acuteness of sound. Animal Collective is the most prominently referenced example, and likewise, Caandides music plays an uncanny resemblance. Their Paris-based label, Cracki Records , is a model purveyor of the movement. Their SoundCloud is a mesmerizing collection of electronic bleeps, psych pop, and studio experiments. The label’s bio page on their website recollects their music coming about not from bands or shows, but from art installations and museum exhibits.
Freak folk is often a genre in which the chicken hatches before the egg.
Caandides latest installment 20° 30′ S 29° 20′ W propels the listener into a far out oddity of synths, feedback, distorted vocals, outlandish sounds, and revolving loops. Like a carnival ride, at first you’re a bit giddy and nauseated, but when you close your eyes and drift away, it’s an exhilarating experience. It’s relaxing and unsettling at the same time. What initially sounds like a random combination of old clips of ’60s beach rock records bashed together comes together in an orderly and deliberate fashion. It’s no surprise that Caandides is comprised of former graphic designers.
The title of the record references an interesting tale. In 1958, a UFO was sited off the coast of Trinidad, a small island smack dab in the Atlantic, off the coast of Brazil. Caandides became inundated by the story. They tracked the coordinates, and eventually created made-up dialogue and characters to accompany the happenings. Eventually those stories turned into songs, and those songs manifested into an album.
I couldn’t really imagine being on an island that’s so isolated from civilization to begin with. And perhaps it all makes sense. Caandides takes us on a mind-bending journey far away from the commonplace or mundane, and 45 minutes later, in a blink, you’re on your couch, or at your desk, or sitting down for lunch. Back to reality.