Bot’Ox

Official website: www.botoxmusic.com

Bot’Ox is a duo formed in 2005 by Frenchmen Julien Briffaz and Cosmo Vitelli. After a road trip to Babylon («Babylon by Car», their first album released in 2010), they come back to haunt dark clubs with a second album, «Sans Dormir», to be released November 6, 2013. The album consists of ten tracks, mostly sung, some of which have already been released in the form of singles and remixes with videos during the year.

For the second album, the battered Cadillac comes to a stop in the parking lot of a deserted nightclub as suggested by the visuals presented with the project, abandoned French clubs as photographed by Phillipe Lebruman. In the same way as cars, far from being a futuristic symbol of progress and speed, can give a foretaste of the junkyard, the night club, a symbol of youth and vitality, contains in its promise of sleepless nights the inevitable ensuing fatigue.

This decor is the ambiguous setting for songs that speak of love as any pop album does. In «Sans Dormir» however, insomnia is a solitary adventure. Opening with a spectral visit from downstairs – «Basement Love» – the album continues with «Grands Boulevards,» an instinctive nocturnal trip where rockabilly guitars rub elbows with moogs while giving an account of obsessions, recurring dreams and waking nightmares. «2.4.1» speaks of disillusionment in love while leaning towards soft rock. «Another Form of Fatigue» tries to tame the migraine with a dubby feel. «Back from the Suburbs» is a twisted electro-rock ballad. «Goodbye Fantasy» is an anti-declaration of love with pro-British pop accents. «The Face of Another» is a kind of dissatisfied, sexually wandering discopop while «Night Stuntman» is a psychedelic credit roll for a movie with no happy ending. The sweet «Unfinished Business» makes an attempt at reconciliation, before the synthesizers all emerge for the title track «Sans Dormir.»

In the cold but heartfelt voices of the artists are a meeting of male and female intimacy, which sometimes reply to each other («Unfinished Business»). These voices include Mark Kerr, Anna Jean and Judy Nylon (of the legendary punk band Snatch), already present on the first album. They are joined here by Samy Osta and Foremost Poets, the iconic trans-Atlantic voice of underground house / techno. The «deluxe» version of the album adds to these ten titles a series of tracks that were unreleased or previously only available in digital format.

The two members of Bot’Ox are prominent figures of electronic music “made in France.” Julien Briffaz was for a long time part of the house and techno duo Tekel, also written [T]ékël. All brawn on the dancefloor and full of humor in the titles («Deep Turtle» or «Acid Bonanga» are part of their anthology tracks), the two mutts each took a different canine road in 2009 after a slew of singles and an album published in 2006 with Initial Cuts. Since then, you are most likely to find Julien Briffaz in the studio.

Cosmo Vitelli earned his reputation as a producer during the early French Touch years, remixing or being remixed by De Crecy, Cassius and Daft Punk. He also during this time produced a wealth of personal works which lead to the release of the album «Clean» in 2003. In 2004, he founded the label «I’m a Cliché» to whom we owe the debut success of Simian Mobile Disco, Azari & III and Yuksek. His consuming passion for music gradually balances out, spread among three roles: DJing, running his label, and being one-half of Bot’Ox.

Cosmo Vitelli and Julien Briffaz came together by indulging their common obsessions: an aesthetic mecha- nical universe, marked by the mythology of the automobile and the paradoxical fragility of its bodywork, and a fanatical mutating vision of music.

After a few EPs appeared on prestigious labels such as DFA and DC Recordings and Marketing, their pre- mier album «Babylon by Car» was released in 2010 by I’m a Cliché. This highway, made up of eleven tracks, alternates car chases, anxiety-filled passage through customs and forest walks at dusk. There, the sensual and melancholic voices of Anna Jean, Mark Kerr and Judy Nylon resonate.

Oscillating between the deserted road and the sweaty dancefloor, the Bot’Ox playground extended to the big screen as the duo composed the soundtrack of the film Mineurs 27 directed by the Frenchman Tristan Aurouet (2011). We find excerpts of this soundtrack on the bonus CD of «Sans Dormir» – along with titles for the film Dias de Gracia from Mexican director Everardo Gout (2012).

(biog: September 2013)