Ribeiro + Alpes enjoyed a thoroughly deserved re-issue of their stunning 3 album discography this year on Anthology Recordings. The final album Paix starts with two 3 minute tracks that are beautiful distillations of the magic on display here. Roc Alpin draws an immaculate blueprint for Stereolab still some 20 years into the future.
But for me, the following track, Jusqu’a ce que la Force de t’aimer me manqué is nothing short of dazzling.
Musical scales are of course meant as singing exercises but ‘la’ has somehow been adopted as the musical equivalent of a placeholder – the space where nothing more than human presence is required, or to be later replaced with more considered words.
However the ‘la la las‘ presented as the soaring theme here are amongst the most achingly beautiful vocalisations I’ve ever heard. Backed by the peeling folky spiralling and the beautifully suppressed orchestration only spotlight Riberio’s slightly hoarse straining voice even more effectively.
Again, and again, the peaking wordless building blocks of the universe are loaded with human experience. A tune that begs a dewy eyed sing along towards the stars… utterly beautiful.
The 3 re-issued Catherine Ribeiro + ALPES lps are available from here