The roots of Cinérex can be traced to 1994, when Kelvin Smits (club-DJ
who released some stuff in the early nineties as Kelvin, Astrospider, Nuts on
Mars ...) and Tom Barman (singer of the group dEUS) started
a cooperation called General Electrique. The result of these two different musical
currents was a bunch of demo-tapes with a hypnotizing mixture on it. Although
the project raised quite a few expectations, there was no release on CD due to
problems with the record firm of dEUS. Although Island had an "option"
on the group, it decided not to release anything.
Meanwhile, Kelvin started searching for like-minded people in the Belgian underground
techno-scene. He found these in Sebastien Kalinji, aka DJ Bobo - one of the founders
of the label Wonka Recors - and in Tomy Rombouts - who had some success with the
techno-project Digital Excitation but evolved later to a "post-post modernist
soundscaper"). With two ladies, Ivy Smits (previously in bands such as Mind
The Gap & Fever) and the American Alissa Kueker (ex-Skylab 2000, Bassland
...) the group Cinérex (after a famous movie building in Antwerp) was founded.
On occasion, Kelvin also involved his uncle, George Smits - the now defunct musician
from the group of skiffle-animal Ferre Grignard, in
The group started recording immediately (from 1995 to 1997), yet their debut
release would only appear in the stores in June 1998. This was because insurmountable
troubles arose with the "clearance" of a number of samples on which
they built their songs. After a series of endless negotiations with the owners,
they ended up dropping all the samples."
Sebastien : "If we had paid all the samples we wanted, we would've had to
pay to get the record in the stores. With the members of die
Anarchistische Abendunterhaltung we came up with similar melodies that they
recorded for us. This whole detour cost us a few years, but ended up being a an
enrichment for our music. It was a change of course under gunpoint, but for the
Because the songs of General Electrique that were still lying around fitted quite
good within the songs of Cinérex, two of these (Feminax and Blow Tenderly)
have finally found their way to CD-land.
"Exit All Areas part 2" (Part 1 was never issued due to these sample-problems)
became a record "on which boundaries fade", according to Christophe
Verbiest in De Morgen : "<First impressions> sounds a bit like Tricky,
<This is for you> floats on a sultry groove, on <Vibe> sluggish beats
mingle with free-floating ambient. <My name is ...> stands for jazz meets
electronics, <The day I lost my shadow> is quiet folkblues, and <Flight
001> leans towards Esquivel-ish lounge-pop. In short : this is a very varied
album, that doesn't leave a crumbled impression."
Jacky Huys of Knack was another fan : "This is a more than pleasant surprise
... a compelling and surprising trip along deformed vocals, jazz-piano, funky
bass, drum'n'bass, dance, dEUS (Tom Barman sings "Feminax") and lounge music ŕ
la Air. Definitely good."
Live, the group tours as "Cinérex Sound System", a changing
group of DJ's. Kelvin : "It's isn't our attention that people come to
see us, they have to party. We never have pretended to be a live-band. We have
tried that in our techno- and house-past, but there always that one machine that
fails on stage and you end up looking like a fool."
The future: "We have a number of songs in preparation already, but
there's still a lot of work to be done. We want the next CD to be a lot better,
and we don't want to repeat ourselves.".
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