Posts Tagged ‘Cedric Mattys’

In the midst of the storm following the release of « Nama Time » a few weeks ago, the celebrations of “Tales Of Acid Ice Cream”’s 20th birthday were deliberately buried into an ocean of mud and dirt by the feline high-powers. However, some still favour this now old Awaken release.

What’s the connection?
Proud owners of “Mokomoko Collection” and “Nama Time” might not all be concerned by Snowcat’s white-wall recordings, as he now calls his work of the 90’s, and no one could blame them of that lack of interest.

Tales Of Acid Ice Cream

Tales Of Acid Ice Cream, the well-loved misfit

On the other hand, there’s still that handful of nostalgic freaks who danced their ass off, got high or cured their manic depression (all for the worse in the latter case) listening to the beats of that very CD. Those die-hard fans are not surprisingly quite resistant to Snowcat’s own faves like “Beppu Nights”, “This Mouth” or “Nama Time”.

Released in early January of 1996, “Tales Of Acid Ice Cream” features the team that Snowcat had gathered little by little since earlier days, bassist and mentor Ced Mattys (1988), vocalist P’tit Bout (1989), backing vocalist Gina Mainardi (1992), additional keyboardist Aurélia Thirion (1993) and lead guitarist Yves Larivierre (1994). Add to this accordionist (and mentor –again) Vincent Trouble (1988) and freshly invited violinist Philippe Tasquin, you get the illusion of a growing band who spent time together and grew a strong unit through the years. This was ToAIC’s first misunderstanding that cooled the most innocent of newcomers.

Friends won’t be friends
The then Awaken was far from being a band, let alone a bunch of friends. The embarrassing lack of democracy was palpable since the first notes of “Nursery Nymph”, showing a strong dominance from synthesizers and other Gilles Snowcat-controlled machines over musicians and acoustic instruments. This led to a sound that was heavily rejected by many, and paradoxically adopted and worshiped by a more ‘destroy’ part of the population. Some were so fed up with the guitar-dominated grunge and Brit-pop that they jumped in the Acid Ice Cream wagon without too much hesitation. To this day, those who survived are still genuinely faithful to that era. Is love blind? Some perplexing points like the lack of unity as a band, the over packed music (those tiring 70 minutes), the clumsy vocal interventions of Snowcat and the dictatorship of digital synthesizers don’t seem to be much of a drawback for those lovely (now) grown-up punks. On the contrary. Recently, WARR Records Reviews described it as “Off-key, off-tempo electronica, but I like the pensive pop “Numbness Of Highlights.” And even Al Stewart and Glenn Hughes didn’t hide some interest in the record (that features a cover of their songs, this has to be said)

ToAIC signed by Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple)

ToAIC signed by Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple)

Still, ToAIC still features its lot of attractiveness: some stunning soulful vocals from P’tit Bout, clever violin touch from Philippe Tasquin, beautiful accordion layers from Vincent Trouble, a moving bass line from Ced Mattys and, let’s not forget the immaculate sound of the one who kept the thing together through almost inhuman patience, the sound master ‘Magic’ Fred Scalliet.

Underground cult, as they say.
Benefiting from its status of cult album and scarcity (500 pieces only have been printed and released), “Tales Of Acid Ice Cream” is sold from 70 to 150 euros following its state and the amount of interest from the buyer. This is sometimes repellent for broke music lovers, add to that fact that there’s no streaming version anywhere. Therefore, we decided to sell 3 pieces of “Tales Of Acid Ice Cream” for a mere 50 euros. This offer will last until 14th of February 2016 included but hey, it’s only 3 pieces, don’t expect them to be available forever.

To seize the opportunity, email with “Tales Of Acid Ice Cream -20” as subject line. Further details will be provided to you. Sounds exciting, uh?

ToAIC’s track listing:

01) NURSERY NYMPH (G.Snowcat)
03) a- 1000 DAYS OF YESTERDAYS -INTRO- (R.Evans/B.Caldwell)
04) SLEEP POSITION # 68 (G.Snowcat)

08) DOOM ENTRY (G.Snowcat)
09) a- I AM LOVE (M.Larson/J.Marcellino/D.Fenceton/FH.Rancifer)
b- RESCUE (M.Mann/M.Rogers)
10) a- WELCOME TO THE ‘HOUSE X’ (G.Snowcat)

12) SPIRITS OF 1983 (G.Snowcat)
13) a- THIS TIME AROUND (G.Hughes/J.Lord)
b- BLIND (J.Lord)
c- OWED TO ‘G’ (T.Bolin)
14) A SIMPLE LOVE (G.Snowcat)

16) ZLURP (A.Thirion/G.Snowcat)
17) NOTHING COULD BE GOOD (B.Gibb/R.Gibb/M.Gibb/A.Galuten)
18) THIN CRASH VIRUS (G.Snowcat)
20) STILL ALIVE (M.Vernon/B.Bowersock/P.Juvet)


In a past life, Awaken released an album called “Party in Lyceum’s Toilets“, which featured, amongst other cult songs, a version of “Jazzy”, a cute tune written by ex-Metropolis pianist Renaud Lhoest. One of the last days of December 2014, Renaud Lhoest passed away.

GS: “He wasn’t exactly a friend, and this is an understatement to say that I didn’t have any kind of contact with the guy on more than 20 years, but I’ll always be grateful for his help and kindness (and patience) with the young and hesitating Snowcat that I was back in 1988 (a very good year, it was). He then just had released a demo tape, “Les Vacances de Julie”, that ran over and over on my magic Radio-Shack cassette player, in order to steal an idea or two, which I somehow managed. Somehow.

Renaud Lhoest, demo circa. 1987

The tape was brought to me by his then bass player, Ced Mattys, who later ended to play on an album of mine. It was worth 150 Bef (a rough 4 euros and 50 cents now), that I actually never paid.”

He later became an overbooked arranger, composer and violinist playing with a variety of artists from obscure Belgian acts to the likes of Robert Plant and Jimmy Page. Call it a huge wingspan.

May Renaud Lhoest have a drink with John Bonham up-there and ask him what he thought of that fake-Zeppelin incarnation. But that’s another story.

Listen to Renaud Lhoest’s own music

Listen to Awaken’s take on “Jazzy”

Lhoest demo