Julien Desprez

Acapulco Redux


CN D Pantin

When you only hear him and can’t see him, it’s not easy to be sure that Julien Desprez is playing the electric guitar. This young French musician reappropriates the iconic instrument of rock ’n’ roll with felicitous spontaneity thanks to a host of internal and external modifications. He plays with the microphones and transforms its sound using pedals; it is as if his hands tap dance on the strings. His live pieces sound like aural cut-ups, verging on what is known as ‘glitch’ music. They bring to mind in particular the Quebec techno producer Akufen, alias Marc Leclair, with whom he shares a predilection for contortions: his body almost dances when he plays and his relationship with his guitar sometimes calls to mind the gestures of a magician who has bewitched a lion tamer. A hyperactive artist, he has collaborated with artists as diverse as Charlie Haden, Jeanne Added, Magic Malik, Noël Akchoté and Tortoise. The leader of Snap, he has also been involved with collaborative projects such as Parquet and Brazil Mashup, which all bear witness to the vitality of this young generation of open, uninhibited thirty-somethings who came out of jazz and improvised music. In 2008, he co-founded Collectif Coax, which has enabled this new scene to develop independently, collaborating in particular with personalities from the visual and digital arts.