Martin Rev by Divine Enfant 5 - Kopie
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December 15

Martin Rev + bar italia

Concert in the Foyer, standing only.

Bar open during the evening.

Martin Rev's concerts are very loud. Earplugs will be available for the public.

As part of the 34th edition of Les Inrocks Festival, the Bourse de Commerce is hosting a concert by post-punk electro icon Martin Rev. The evening opens with music by the mysterious London rock group bar italia.

Martin Rev grew up in the Bronx, New York in the 1950s and 1960s, surrounded by doo-wop singers on every street corner, and musician parents. During these years, he developed a love for the emerging free jazz approach and joined the Reverend B ensemble as a pianist. One evening in 1970, at the Project of Living Artists, an alternative venue in Greenwich Village, he made the acquaintance of Alan Vega (1936-2016), a Brooklyn College graduate and artist who made sculptures from light bulbs and glowing neon. Together, they founded the group Suicide. Penniless in a New York vibrating to the punk wave, they composed their avant-garde electronic works to mirror the energy of the city, performing at CBGB, Max’s Kansas City, and other clubs that have since disappeared. In 1977, their first album entitled Suicide appeared, comprising seven stirring tracks, punctuated by the haunting voice of Alan Vega, atmospheric drum machines, and the dissonant keyboard playing of Martin Rev. In 1980, they released Suicide: Alan Vega and Martin Rev, with new wave and melodious undertones, rhythmic loops, and industrial noise. That same year, both began a solo career.

In 1980, Martin Rev unveiled his warm, gravelly voice on the album Martin Rev, imbued with luminous, synthetic melodies. The following albums—Clouds of Glory (1985) and Cheyenne (1990)—are imbued with an evocative atmosphere, his journeys across America by bus, from New York to California, and offer instrumental versions of Suicide songs. Next came See me Ridin’ (1995) and Strangeworld (2000), lulled by keyboard melodies, and with Martin Rev’s mischievous voice wandering through electronic soundscapes. With Demolition 9 (2017), he added an increasing number of sound pieces, witnesses of his vast musical universe. In concert, always sporting large ski goggles, Martin Rev continues to fashion a sound that borrows from post punk and techno, industrial music and new wave.

With a video installation by Divine Enfant.

bar italia  

bar italia is an experimental rock band from London, shrouded in mystery: their identities have been debated in more than a few online threads. In 2020, on artist Dean Blunt’s World Music label, they released an album entitled Quarrel, characterized by its vaporous production, mumbled vocals, and rough instruments. In 2022, they released the single Banks

Since 1988, the annual Les Inrocks Festival has been bringing together the best of current musical creation, from emerging talents to icons of the independent scene for a series of concerts in some of Paris’s most legendary venues. Previous acts include Happy Mondays, Suuns, Spiritualized, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Suede, Warpaint, Pulp, Chilly Gonzales, and Clara Luciani. 

Renaud Monfourny, founding member and photographer for the magazine Les Inrockuptibles, is presenting a selection of iconic photographs of the group Suicide for the Bourse de Commerce event. Renaud Monfourny did portraits of Alan Vega and Martin Rev during the group’s tours in the late 1980s and early 2000s. In 1988, he produced the back cover of their third album, A Way of Life.