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Culture Reviews
Colder
B2 Club 
By Sonya Rinkus
Some tiny section of Moscow, probably the contingent that goes to Thursday concerts at B2, must have known something about Colder before their concert. Either that or B2 was, against all odds, hyping the heck out of a band just for being French and experimental. I called them “French electro-pop” in my own magazine, but don’t remember writing it, have no idea what that really means and probably lifted it from Pitchfork. Other sexy terms attached to Colder are dark wave, neo-glam rock and minimalist post-post-post-punk. Now having seen him, a more helpful image would be the melancholy of Joy Division plus the ambisexuality of Bowie plus the robot dancing of Devo. Like a French Placebo.

Colder got a really late start, a bad idea for a Thursday night, as people have to work the next day and become cranky and restless. People like me. When they finally came out, the guitarist whipped out a violin bow, indicating it was going to be one of those kind of shows. Colder played Music to Kill Yourself By in a sparsely populated and dark hall, and it was a scary five minutes.

But miraculously, the tides turned, convincing those leaning towards eating a bullet to stay in this world. The lights turned on, the groove became less overtly suicidal and people off the street decided against better judgment to pay 900 rubles for a show that should have been over. At this point, it would be prudent to note that Colder is not the entire band, just singer Marc Nguyen Tan, a man with slender hips, creepy charisma and a tenuous relationship with the English language in which he sings. Another thing about Colder, evident immediately from the minimalist skinny jeans and Fred Perry polo ensemble, is that he daylights as a graphic designer.

The crowd, which was of a similar serious-about-the-music ilk as the singer, did not flinch at his patent “seizure” dance. Some even copied.

The rest of the band doesn’t normally get any props in the media, but the bassist with the truncated red tie deserves a special mention. His enthusiastic handling of the instrument, better known as making love to the bass, was humorously at odds with the I am the Colder image. Luckily, the man in the middle was too busy tweaking the knobs of his sound deck to notice what was going on behind him.



In the end, we couldn’t say that we liked Colder’s music, though we can appreciate that some people, the people who knew Colder in the first place and had a table at B2, like experimental electronic music and can pick out meaningful variation and stuff. On the other hand, thumbs up to the cutely tortured folk he reeled in. My friend would like to give a shout out to the sad guy in skinny jeans standing by himself. She can make you happy, and it begins with not listening to Colder.

08.07.06
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