Not too often do I sit down with a record and become instantly transfixed, refusing to do anything else. But with Quadrupede
that’s exactly what happened. It’s the little EP that could, combining the intensity of post rock with all the quirkiness of noise and beauty of electronics. Is it a mess? Why yes, yes it is. But it is an engrossing mess nonetheless; an extremely effective exploration of bombastic instrumentation with clever and unique songwriting.
Quadrupede are a little two piece math –rock/electronic outfit hailing from France. Their disparaging influences call to mind Kashiwa Daisuke, And So I Watch You From Afar, and 65daysofstatic. It’s an interesting whirlwind of electronics, wild percussion, and piano that works well because of the palpable energy present during each and every second. The record begins with a solemn guitar, leading into a very lovely but somewhat typical post-rock bridge. This does not hint at what is to come, but rapidly the layers become added and the “Judoka” blossoms into a starkly dramatic and unwieldy beast. Pianos and drum dance wildly in an almost ad lib fashion until glitchy flourishes lead the song into an explosive finish.
What is most impressive is how each of the three songs sound so distinct. “Burkina Faso” is completely different from the pack as it stands out as surprisingly “dance-like.” The tempo moves along deliberately as the listener struggles to keep up with the overwhelming layering. After that, “TMWIHTII” closes things out in a grandiose fashion. It works as an amalgam of everything presented up to that point, with plenty of stylistic shifts to show off the duo’s musical chops. At times sparse and beautiful while at others messy and cathartic, the song feels is a behemoth of a track and an incredible way to end the EP.
No matter your place on the musical spectrum, Quadrupede are well worth being on your radar. Their self-titled debut is a marvel of thoughtful and daring musicianship that attempts to bring together a world of instrumental music into one cohesive package. Luckily, it works very well and gets this reviewer excited for what the French duo have up their sleeves.