They met on stage. At a gig in Paris. Mildly hungover and a pinch sceptical of the other. Hungry! The way seasoned musicians are hungry before they hit the stage with someone new. That night, when Lea opened her mouth and wrapped her voice around the bass line – it happened. Everybody who was there could testify to it! It rippled through the space and hung between the musicians and the audience – between the two of them. Like incense smoke.
They blinked a couple of times and, one day, they rolled out of bed as lovers. Soon after, as a couple. And, as they got to know each other better, they realised, rather quickly, that this thing, this love, this shared thirst for life, was in fact music. Because life, when you really tune into it, is a resonance; it’s a vibration at a cellular level. So, it really was a no brainer to translate this thing into sound. To put it down on tape. Which is what they did.
Berlin-Paris is the first single from Paris-based art pop duo known as et . nu. It marks the beginning of their sonic journey, which explains why it sounds like an opening sequence to a road movie. You can almost see their names flickering on the silver screen in coarse 16 mm grain: Lea / Julien / et . nu. The title of the movie: Berlin-Paris.
In the middle of the night, she packed as much as she could carry into her little hooptie and drove to see him. It took seven hours. Over the phone, he said that he loved her, but that he was scared; and that maybe it was still too early. She thought the same, but what she felt, deep inside, was that she needed to go. You hear all of this in the song. Electricity, tension, the winding bass line of a wandering mind, the heavy drone of the motor, the wind relentlessly beating on the windshield, and, of course, the rattling heartbeat doused with adrenaline, caffeine, and love. And that voice! Half spoken, half sung; alternating between English and French. Hypnotic. Suddenly, the arrangement hits an MDMA-like peak and, just like that, they’re on a beach in Northern France; sea gulls dancing over their heads. Divine!