Monday, 30 September 2013

Bertrand Cantat: Détroit- Droit dans le solei

Former Noir Désir singer Bertrand Cantat has unveiled a new track, with the song Droit dans le soleil under the name Détroit.

Its' a melancholy tune from Cantat, who makes his first full release since Noir Désir confirmed they were no more in 2010. The song reminds me of the version of the Noir Désir song A ton étoile that the band performed with Yann Tiersen.

His new act is a duo with Pascal Humbert, whom he previously worked with on the soundtrack for a production of a play by Sophocles in Montreal.

His return will no doubt stir up the debate about his crime and subsequent incarceration and questions over whether it's appropriate in light of what he did for him to continue with a career.

Cantat served four years in prison for the manslaughter of his partner Marie Trintignant in a hotel in Lithuania in 2003. He admitted hitting her and he was sentenced to eight years in jail.

The band never fully recovered from Cantat's time in jail. He was released in 2007, and the band only released two more tracks, Gagnants/Perdants and a cover of Le Temps des cerises.

Since Noir Désir called it a day, Cantat has made some brief re-appearances in the music scene, with Shaka Ponk, Brigitte Fontaine and Amadou and Mariam.

The new release is more of a full comeback than any of his earlier post-Noir Désire work.

While the debate over whether he deserves a second chance or whether he should continue to be  condemned, what's certain is that his new work will be scrutinised fully in the context of Cantat being a convicted killer whose actions resulted in the death of a woman.

The issue of domestic violence will also be put firmly in the spotlight, and attitudes will be examined in detail in public. That can't be a bad thing.

Does Cantat deserve to be able to turn the page and move on? Can a bad person make good art? Can a killer be truly ever be rehabilitated?

There are many questions about Cantat's return. Some of these will no doubt be addressed publicly in coming months.

The album Horizons is released on November 18, and Cantat is expected to announce shortly details of a tour to be held next year.

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