Tout Bleu

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Discography available at :


16.06.22 LUZERN / B-Side Festival
09.07.22 PARIS / La Ferme Electrique
10.07.22 PARIS / MU festival (station)
11.08.22 GIGORS / Gigors Electrique
12.08.22 tbc
13.08.22 PEYRATOR / Supeyrator festival
14.08.22 GINALS / La Guinguette de Begayne
15.08.22 GRENOBLE / 102 / tbc /

Otium, the second album by Geneva’s Tout Bleu is a singular vision made up of a dizzying array of things, from electric folk to Krautrock, glitch techno to dubbed-out postpunk, chamber rock to synthpop. It experiments with a pop sensibility, transmits its creators’ passionate social conscience with calm and charm alike, and finds the project evolving from the primary vision of Simone Aubert to a functional band unit.

On the evidence of Otium, we’re catching Tout Bleu at a really exciting point in the band’s evolution. Released on Bongo Joe Records, which also has its base in Geneva and which, like Tout Bleu themselves, is at the heart of the experimental music scene in the city. Names on the label roster including Massicot, Hyperculte and Orchestre Tout Puissant Marcel Duchamp are directly linked to the TB family tree; others such as Cyril Cyril and AMAMI make the region weirder than the unsuspecting might suppose.

The shape of the musical underground in Switzerland, and Geneva especially, is vital to what Tout Bleu do. Cave12, the foremost Genevan venue for avant-garde music, is also crucial to the project having begun in the first place. Simone cites the importance of Swiss experimental music veterans including Joke Lanz and Dave Phillips, artists who may be more sonically extreme but who, in a supportive and close-knit scene, still act as peers. Th

e flip side of this is the unmissable spectre of capitalist excess, hardly unique to Geneva but more glaring in this seat of international finance than in most cities. This only strengthens Simone’s determination to keep existing in a way that pushes against such bloat – in Otium’s lyrics, which with a general economy of words call for we the people to remain courageous as the world spirals towards doom, and in the way Tout Bleu go about their business.

When Simone began making music under this name in 2018, Tout Bleu consisted of her alone, but was not intended to remain that way. Two solo live performances only strengthened the Swiss performer’s belief that creativity is best achieved through cooperation, and Tout Bleu, released towards the end of that same year, saw Simone joined by drummer Nicholas Stücklin, violinist Agathe Max and POL, an electronic musician who’s been a fixture of the Genevan leftfield scene since the 1990s. The four members combined heady drones, rhythms both manmade and non-organic, and Simone’s ghostly singing manner to fine effect – albeit unlikely to pass for a pop record to the average listener.

On Otium, this has changed, along with much of the musical personnel: POL remains, but Stücklin and Max make way for Naomi Mabanda (cello) and Luciano Turella (viola). Before, Simone considered Tout Bleu’s process to begin with textures, upon which her cohorts added further sonic layers, rather than songs in the strict compositional sense. Now, what you hear can justly be called arrangements, with the group looking to emulate and update the full-cream lushness of a 1970s Abbey Road recording. It’s a testament to POL, who as on Tout Bleu is this album’s chief producer, that this has largely been achieved through digital editing, with sections recorded remotely for the most part – yet over nine songs you’ll hear the wavey opulence of the Mellotron and timeless phasing and reverb tricks.

Ere De Rien opens the album, its jazzy postpunk bassline anchoring the more freewheeling string parts and electronic sparkle. Baleine builds, over seven minutes, from sparse instrumental arrangements to a looping, loping synthesized folk part (a folk music influence colours sizeable parts of the whole album) that links the electronic and the organic. Constellation leans closer to the former mode: melancholy keyboards shimmer and POL assembles crisp, glitch-adjacent beats, while Simone’s vocals yearn. Rucksucre gets in its groove with the kind of determinedly repetitious swing that Stereolab perfected in their prime.

A retreat of sorts from tuneful insouciance takes hold mid-album, with Entre Les Mots basing itself around drones – as did much of the Tout Bleu debut – and Ce Sera a sinister, crunching, discordant oddity. U22 begins as a measured post-rock instrumental, switches into creepy minimal synth and then drops in a funky bassline and curious vocal yelps. POL’s glitchy rhythms, Mabanda’s elegant viola back up dubby, layered vocals on Otium the track – and Otium the album ends on a troubled-sounding note, reflective of how Simone sees the world today, with She’s Lost.

Tout Bleu may have taken a turn for the accessible with this latest release, but there’s no suggestion that Simone craves success for its own sake – its title, a Latin word describing leisure time used for improving activities, is pointed in that respect.

LP - VINYL - CD - K7
OTIUM Bongo Joe Records 2021 BJR074 / Zamzamrec ZZ72
TOUT BLEU Bongo Joe Records 2018 BJR035

Disk Records,2021 KAB276

FUTUR ANTÉRIEUR : Bongo Joe 5 Years Bongo Joe Records 2018 BJR035
BAZ'ART 2020 baz001
INTERACTIONS : A Guide to Swiss Underground Experimental Music Buh Records 2019
SWISS SHEROES : Compilation Les Créatives fcma 2018

2018 SOUS LE MONDE, with Stéphanie Bayle

2020 BORDERLINE, Kenneth MacPherson
2019 THE GREAT WHITE SILENCE, Herbert Ponting
2018 DAS BLUMENWUNDER, Max Reichmann


29.05.22 TORINO / Radioblackout
28.05.22 MILANO / Circolo IAM
27.05.22 MORI / Pallet
26.05.22 FOLIGNIO / Subasio
24.05.22 SCOPELO / Chiringuito
22.05.22 PALERMO / Monkey
21.05.22 CATANIA / Baraccio
20.05.22 REGGIO CALABRIA / Interzone
19.05.22 TARANTO / Spazio 202
18.05.22 MOLFETTA / Auditorium Madonna della Rosa
16.05.22 ROMA / Fanfulla
15.05.22 FERMO / Tobeti Festival
14.05.22 SIENA / Corte dei miracoli
13.05.22 PISA / Caracol
12.05.22 FAENZA / Clandestino
11.05.22 LUGANO / Osteria la Fabbrica
10.04.22 CHALON / La Méandre
09.04.22 TOURNAI / Water Moulin
08.04.22 BRUXELLES / La Source
07.04.22 ENSCHEDE
06.04.22 MONS / Pont de l'Etain
05.04.22 CAENS / Atelier de Pierre
04.04.22 RENNES / Le Terminus
03.04.22 ALONNES / Péniche Excelsior
02.04.22 PIC DE LA GARDE / Lieu Autonome
01.04.22 VIRIEU / La Préfécture
31.03 22 GENEVE / Bongo Joe
13.03.22 ST-ETIENNE / Les Arts Forez
12.03.22 GAP / Le Gorille
11.03.22 GRENOBLE / La Bobine
10.03.22 DIE / La Griotte
09.03.22 DIJON / Les Lentillères

18.12.21 FRIBOURG / Fri-Son
17.12.21 BESANCON / Hôp Hôp Hôp

16.12.21 LUCERNE / Industriestrasse
15.12.21 LAUSANNE / Le Cazard
14.12.21 DIJON / Les Lentillères
13.12.21 ZURICH / Boschbar

11.12.21 BERN / Dachstock
10.12.21 GENEVA / Cave12 / 2nd album release party
31.07.21 GENEVA / Théâtre de l'Orangerie
17.07.21 LYON / Grrrnd Zero
16.07.21 CONCOTS / Le Bois de la Logette
08.07.21 PLATEAU MILLEVACHES / La Loutre par les Cornes
07.07.21 CLERMONT / Relax (avec Hache Tendre)
06.07.21 LAUSANNE / Festival de la Cité
21.05.21 TOGGENBURG / B-Sides goes Klangwelt Festival
03.04.21 LUCERNE / Industriestrasse 9
02.04.21 LAUSANNE / Cazard
18.03.21 BERN / ISC avec Louis Jucker

27.02.21 BERN / Ghost Festival

12.11.20 LAUSANNE / Théâtre Sevelin 36
31.10.20 FRIBOURG / Tour Vagabonde
30.10.20 GENEVA / Rez Usine
29.10.20 BERN / ISC

28.10.20 ZURICH / Schönegg
24.10.20 VEVEY / RKC
17.09.20 YVERDON / AMALGAME (with Brigitte Fontaine)
05.09.20 LYON / Grrnd Zero
23.08.20 ZURICH / Moods / Marathon IOIC
25.07.20 GENEVE / La Jonquille
24.07.20 BIENNE / Chaud Patate
23.07.20 GENEVE / Villa Baron / Festival des Possibles
11.07.20 HAUT JURA / Festival
04.07.20 TOURNAN-EN-BRIE / Festival La Ferme Electrique
21.06.20 GENEVE / Rooftop
18.04.20 Die / La Griotte
17.04.20 TORINO / Imbarchino
16.04.20 FAENZA / Clan destino
15.04.20 ROMA / Fanfulla
12.04.20 PORLEZZA / La Posa
11.04.20 BASEL / Off Bar
10.04.20 DIJON / Lentillères / 10 ans des lentilleres
03.04.20 GENEVE / La Jonquille
02.04.20 YVERDON / AMALGAME (opening for Brigitte Fontaine)
31.01.20 LUZERN / Südpol

30.11.19 WINTERTHUR / Gaswerk
15.11.19 ZURICH / Backslash Festival
06.10.19 LAUSANNE / Espace St-Martin
05.10.19 TROYES / Festival trouble fête
04.10.19 BADEN / Royal Baden
02.10.19 CLERMONT FERRAND / Raymond bar
01.10.19 TOULOUSE / tbc
30.09.19 MONTPELLIER / Appart Show
29.09.19 MARSEILLE / Embobineuse
28.09.19 GENEVE / Usine 30 ans
27.09.19 LYON / Periscope
26.09.19 PARIS / Piccolo Club
20.09.19 RIO DE JANEIRO / Cinéma Botafogo
19.09.19 RIO DE JANEIRO / Cinéma Botafogo
16.09.19 SAO PAULO / Estúdio Lâmina
14.09.19 BUENOS AIRES / Planta
13.09.19 BUENOS AIRES / Planta
10.09.19 CORDOBA / Cineclub Municipal
08.09.19 SANTIAGO / Aula Magna
06.09.19 SANTIAGO / Centro Arte Alameda
05.09.19 VALPARAISO / Teatro Condell
04.09.19 VALPARAISO / Teatro Condell
30.08.19 ZURICH / Blau-blau Festival / Helsinki
30.05.19 DUDINGEN / Kilby
25.04.19 LAUSANNE / Le Bourg
24.04.19 GENEVA / Le Cabinet
24.02.19 LEEDS / Warf Chambers
23.02.19 MANCHESTER / Yum Yum
21.02.19 LONDON / Cafe Oto
20.02.19 SHEFIELD / Hatch

29.11.18 ZURICH / IOIC
29.10.18 ZURICH / Boschbar
28.10.18 LYON / Ground Zero
27.10.18 ST-ETIENNE / Gueule Noire
26.10.18 GENEVA / Cave 12
05.10.18 GENEVA / Picto / Sous Le Monde
04.10.18 LAUSANNE / 2.21
17.08.18 GENEVA / Aubes Musicales
23.06.18 GENEVA / ADC / Sous Le Monde
22.06.18 GENEVA / ADC / Sous Le Monde

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