Sutja Gutiérrez - Phylax Society


23/10/2020


Sutja Gutierrez is back on Lumière Noire. The finesse of his productions and his implacable stage performances have given him a special place within the Parisian label. In 2017, he released the EP "The Legend of Time" and one year later, he appeared on the compilation From Above with his track "Allodoxaphobia". He comes back here with an LP entitled PHYLAX SOCIETY, which confirms that Sutja Gutierrez is indeed an artist in his own right. Phylax means guardian in Latin, and the album’s title is directly inspired by the “Phylax Society”, a group of people who, in the late 19th century, wanted to create the ultimate canine breed, but who due their lack of consensus failed and dissolved. Later on, an ex-member eventually bred the very first German Shepherd. On this heartfelt record, as emotional as it is catchy, the artist deals with the feelings that come after the loss of a loved one, chiefly nostalgia and melancholia. The result is an ardent record where crooning is sincere and never a posture. The artist’s lo-fi psychedelic pop trademark oozes in every track of this album. Many of these songs feature his vocals, often doused in ethereal echoes or even shrewdly chopped and distorted in a way that reminds us of the great musique concrete experiments of the past. A DIY approach sometimes indebted to punk and post-punk music, all mixed with a vast variety of traditional pop instruments such as guitar, bass, electric keyboards and real drums, but also drum machines, synth bleeps, found sounds and other strange but fascinating samples. EMPTY FLOWER POTS, which was released as a single ahead of the LP, is definitely one of the album’s standout tracks. This catchy mid-tempo song is the perfect entry point into Sutja’s finely twisted world. A world in which you can find that particular balance between nostalgia and optimism. ​Oh, life is great, what is life? Life is death.​ . he sings. It is one of those songs that stays in your head for a while. Do not let the idea of alternative pop fool you, it is quite impossible to listen to any of these songs without reacting in some way or another through moving, dancing or thinking, regardless of the tempo or meaning. I’M DIGGIN’ might be the perfect example of this. Deceptively simple and far removed from dance music, this rock-infused number will not only have you singing along instantly, but you will also find yourself dancing and responding accordingly to the energetic mantra of this song... ​I'm digging for the truth, I am so diggin' into it​. Truly, the dance floor is never too far, sometimes quite blatantly and sometimes in a more oblique fashion. Another case in point is PHYLAX SOCIETY, the eponym track which closes the album, a song in two parts, where a slo-mo club groove carries Sutja’s trademark singing to yet another level of uniqueness, with his surreal soundscapes, twisted melodies and everyday life sounds. An ode to humanity and an homage to the ones who are risking their lives every day in the mediterranean sea. It is rare to encounter an album which is immediately satisfying on one hand but also reveals more and more beautiful secrets with each listen. PHYLAX SOCIETY is clearly one of those special albums.

lp 22,50