Libération, France

Disques. Tubes à essai
Le son console
Par Emmanuel PONCET
vendredi 14 novembre 2003

  I Need design, de Vicnet (Deco).

Insistons trois minutes sur la «Game boy musique». Qu'est-ce ? Un épiphénomène sonore, électronique, à base de «bleeps» informatiques et de motifs naïfs inspirés par les consoles de jeux, les vieux Commodore 64 ou les carcasses de Simon. Jusqu'ici confidentiel et subculturel (1), ce courant musical a trouvé un surprenant porte-parole mondial en la personne de Malcom Mac Laren. A l'école Esmod, le 10 octobre, le gourou punk n'hésitait pas à voir dans la Game boy music LE son «de demain». «Comme quand on a découvert le bruit d'une guitare punk ou les scratches de disques dans le Bronx des années 80...»

Selon Transfert, qui rapporte l'information, Mac Laren travaille déjà à la confection d'un album. Il aurait même mixé l'hymne chinois avec Kraftwerk, les «grands-parents de la chip music». La légende semble déjà écrite : une révélation s'est abattue sur Malcom le jour où il croisa un jeune Français vêtu d'un tee-shirt arborant l'inscription «Fuck Pro Tools» (le logiciel-roi de la musique électronique).

Séniles ou visionnaires, les théories bruyantes de Mac Laren trouvent en tout cas une parfaite illustration, voire un hymne potentiel dans I Need design, de Vicnet (alias Vincent Tordjman). Ce dernier met en musique et surtout en paroles le programme politique de cette déferlante post-punk «basse fidélité». La voix, vocodérisée comme il se doit, réclame l'avènement d'une chip society. Mais elle le fait par antiphrases : «No more cables on my coffee table», «Flat music desk might be the best», ou encore «Play MP3's, watch a DVD». Pour un objectif final inverse : retrouver le «grain», les câbles, le plastique et le son vintage. Quitte à utiliser des machines high-tech. Dans le clip, des personnages animés en forme d'oreilles géantes, recherchent la console électronique miracle. L'une de ces oreilles speedées et anthropomorphisées déambule dans la ville. Elle trace sa route sans regarder. Or justement, sur le trottoir, elle vient de dépasser un homme un peu las, traînant la patte, baissant la tête. Un punk, évidemment.

(1) Libération du 7 mars 2003.


Monochrom, Austria :

A young French designer constructs music on his laptop in his free time on airports and subway station between jobs, and this is what you get: a frenetic mix between postmodern beats and Eighties-stupidity. Is that a perfect musical rendition of the influences a 25 to 30 year old computer-freak and creative industry-worker will have and the life he ought to lead? Maybeso, it is also an interesting record of electronica. Some will find this whacky because of all the vocoded vocals and old-school keyboard sounds, others will find solace in the extreme mixture and absurd humour of Vicnet.

This month, it seems, all electronic music I listen to is structural in morphology and all about constructing music from out of blocks of sounds, such as beats, keyboards, bass-samples and breaks. There was Novel23’s musical excursion into architecture and the second volume of the reciprocess-series on Bip Hop featuring Si-Cut.DB and Full Swing dealing with how two different minds go on about constructing something together. Maybe the idea also comes from me, because me and my wife are looking for an old house in the country to renovate and relocate to, so there is a lot of thoughts about building and constructing on my mind as well. But as they say, there are really no coincidences. Of course, there has always been that kind of music in the last years, only now I have the feeling that there is a lot more, at least next to my stereo. And now Vicnet, which is the first album and first musical project by a young French designer named Vincent Tordjman. The tale goes that he constructs these tracks on a laptop wherever he can find time, on an airport waiting for his flight, on a japanese subway train or wherever. Do you believe that? Listening to the tracks, and especially the distorted vocals at times I doubt that there was no production-time spent in dark rooms late after midnight in front of big computer screens.

On the other hand it is a good story and fits the music. There is a sense of hurried stress and hyperspeeded daily schedules in these tracks, with feverishly driving computerbeats that at times seem to stumble over each other. You will instantly see fast forwarded-movies of nighttime Tokio in your mind, the flashing lights of the traffic, the big neon signs, hundreds of people stumbling through subway stations in fast motion. Thereby Vicnet manages to get a great soundtrack to modern life, tough I don’t think it is a political statement against this trend to speeden up life. My guess would be, that Vicnet is quite comfortably living the life of a modern, urban (almost-)cyber-rambler, working in the so-called creative industries.

And I think Vincent Tordjman dreams of standing high in a DJ-box above a really big crowd of ravers who go fanatic to his music. Which won’t happen anytime soon, I am afraid, because his style of electronic music is way too complex and progressive for the masses, who crave for a straight 4/4-beat and stupid fascist vocals á la Scooter. Vicnets comic vocals, vocoded to sound like something from the Eighties (think “video killed the radiostar” on the one side and “I am the operator with the pocket calculator” on the other) don’t fit the masses, especially in connection with his manic, distorted beats and triggering keyboard-sounds.

Now these keyboard-sounds are something else to behold, and will definitely bring water to the eyes of any true Eighties-aficionado. Allegedly constructed on a laptop, they sound a lot like the Eighties – think Commodore 64-videogames, Miami Sound Machine, synthie-drums, scratch-sounds, Italo-disco (thinking of Italo-Disco, just remember the tons of equipment necessary back then to produce this kind of music, and now it fits all into a tiny laptop. It is amazing, isn’t it?) I hope Vincent Tordjman doesn’t use these influences in his dayjob as a designer, because then I see more pink and pastel suits and neon colours ahead of us.

The mix of all these influences is a truly intriguing one, nevertheless. Some tracks, such as “jammin on my vic-piano”, are pure weird electro-pop. Others, such as the opening track “laptop make it funky!” are as progressive club-smashers (thinking of small electro-clubs with an audience able to enjoy sounds they haven’t heard before and don’t fall into the trap of being fed the same shite over and over again and liking it) as can be. “Vicnet” is a hectic, absurd but amiably positive record, funny at times, postmodern and urban in the best sense of the words at other times.

The CD also contains a CD-ROM part with a video, made with Vicnet’s music for a design-exhibit of Vincent Tordjman. Funny, how those second identities sometimes sneak up on you and whack you on the back of your head in a friendly manner.

******************************************************************************************, Italy

electro, laptop music
<CD> Deco

Album d'esordio per Vincent Tordjman, o più semplicemente Vic, giovane ed eclettico designer transalpino, musicalmente in forza alla Deco, per la quale si presenta con questo solo electro project dal titolo 'Vicnet'. Si dà fondo alle capacità del proprio laptop (un Mac) fra sofisticati intrecci melodici e più contorte combinazioni di suoni, elaborando armonie, ritmi tra elettronica e tenue funky, intriso di pop, secondo una robotica tradizione francese, integrando anche moduli anni ottanta, con influenze old school, miami sound e techno bass. Sperimentazioni abbastanza giocose ed in fondo per niente celebrali, abusando di pattern e voci sintetiche, ma in definitiva in maniera gradevole, assai disinvolta e funzionale. Divertente anche la traccia video 'I Need Design', breve narrazione animata che tratta di un uomo-orecchio, creata da Emereste e diretta da Stephane Robert. Niente di trascendentale ma nel complesso un debutto interessante.

Aurelio Cianciotta


Musiquemachine, GERMANY :

Vicnet - Vic-CD [Deco - 2003]

Vicnet is the project of a young french designer who indulges in retro electro-pop. 80’s revival again, but at least not as annoying as electro-clash.

Vincent Tordjman studied a lot: design, philosophy and music. He seems pretty busy with various professional projects in France or Japan (designing furnitures, working on theatre plays), but still finds the time to make his own music. The story says he works on it while waiting for planes, in the subway, and so on…

Although the album was entirely composed on laptop, it sounds very 80’s. Commodre’s music, Sega 8-bit, early house bass, vintage keyboards sounds, that’s what you’re reminded of. Cheap vocoding is also, of course, de rigueur. But Tordjman didn’t leave out today’s laptop experimentalism: it’s an underlying presence throughout the record.

In a way, the music is quite manic, speedy. You feel a bit as if you had just smoked pot, were lying on the couch, half asleep and your best friends was high on E, standing, jumping and speaking fast, so fast, so fucking fast….
The CD has some sort of naïve aspect to it that is quite charming. Some of the tracks are really enjoyable. If Sega were still working on Alex Kid, Jammin’ on my vic-piano would have been a perfect choice for the soundtrack (no small compliment coming from the Sega fanatic that I am). Petrol and bitch sounds like a Kraftwerk remix of a 1985 club-hit. Exciting car-life city is the encounter of early-jungle, 8-bits soundtracks and 2000 glitchy laptopism. I need design is quite a cool track too. The video is included on the CD and it’s very nice. Both the video and the lyrics focus on something Tordjman designed for the “Designer’s week” in Tokyo: the “Flatmusic”, an “audio desk”. It’s a special desk featuring extra-flat speakers, digital amplifier and slots to insert Compact Flash magnetic cards.
Unfortunately, Vic bored me very fast, and even annoyed me at times. Anyway, it’s a nice and funny album, one that 80’s gamers (and everyone loving 80’s sounds) will really enjoy.


Beatpeople, Spain :


Discográfica: Deco (
Artista: VICNET
Título: VIC-CD

Vincent Tordjman es un diseñador francés que nos presenta su primer trabajo "VIC", disco en el que nos encontraremos sonidos electro-pop desde el peculiar punto de vista de este joven diseñador, que a nadie dejara indeferente.
A lo largo de este LP disfrutaremos de sonidos con divertidas y corrosivas canciones con vocoders con cierto aroma a commodore 64, absurdos hit electro-pop, palmadas al estilo old school, "ochenteras" bases y por supuesto mucha imaginación.

Entre los 9 tracks que componen este disco sobresalen nombres como "Vicnet in the house" con voces robóticas aceleradas, "Jammin´on my vic-piano" en la que nos sumergiremos en una melodía de piano aderezada con miles de sonidos adicionales como miles voces y toques laserianos, "Py.trol & hitch" con unos oscuros y efectivos sonidos aplicables a la pista de baile. Como broche final, tenemos el hit del disco "I need desing", tema electro-pop de ritmo frenético y voces sacadas desde el mismo corazón de silício de cualquier ordenador de los años 80´S. Ademas en el cd nos encontraremos con el video de la susadicha canción, en la que se nos relata la historia del "Hombre-oreja" en la busca de su escitorio definitivo, lleno de gracia y diseño.

Si quieres ver el video on-line Pincha aqui.

Autor: Super raton