The history of pop music has now reach the point where we can attempt a first assessment. Through Apogees, recessions, crashes : a collective soul has developed and new cycles, parallel with those which we knew, have appeared evolving in there own way but still in close touch with that rich past. The historical paradigms are seized by a new generation of musicians who choose to provide us with their own variation, their interpretation of the past.

This crossings of genealogies give birth to a renewal of pop music and France's best example of this rebirth is called Fugu. An inattentive ear could reduce Fugu's music to another (very) good homage to the sixties groups, Beatles and Beach Boys at the fore front. But if you listen to it a true shock operates: you are projected in the core of pop sensualism, when this core starts melting with modernity. The fugu is a rare fish that gives death or ultimate pleasure according to the way it is prepared. This simple metaphor is very accurate. Mehdi Zannad's music is dangerous because it plays with the pitiless blade of the mindset. It is easy to spot some undeniable influences (Stereolab, High Llamas, these providential meetings), Under the rough skin of the preconceived ideas, one discovers the sumptuous flesh, the obvious clarity of the melodies and the joyful complexity of the arrangements.

We could see the songs of Fugu as pharaonic monuments and Mehdi Zannad as the mad architect. But they are not, they are not either some scrumptious terrestrial foods they are admirable pieces of music written by a young man filled up of underestimated influences (Velvet Underground, Kinks, Left Banke) and whose materialisation took some (long) time. Eighteen pieces of an extreme strength, polished without to be crushed, remarkably mixed (glossed/regenerated) by John Cunningham. Eighteen harmonic parts, ranking from the baroque interlude to the mind puzzling post-rock, for which nearly twenty musicians have contributed including the irreplaceable Jerome Didelot, guitarist, bass player and finest counsellor.

This project is fascinating by its meticulous approach of the instrumentation's and the sound, clever by its taste of the invisible quotations, exciting by what it remains to know every time it is played. Still, this disc hides a mystery. An imperceptible voice, almost like a ghost, with the confluence of Emitt Rhodes/Mc Cartney/Doug Yule, which fits in and still makes itself so scarce that we can only keep its mineral print. This voice is powerful in its absence, in its inconsistency. This music has touched us right on the spot and a voice was born, like being added to our intimacy.

Matthieu Rémy


Press quotes


''His rigor, his element of surprise and his master of vocal harmonies appeal'' (Rock & Folk)

''A new prodigy: Mehdi Zannad'' (Nova Mag)

''His name is Fugu, he is full of talent'' (Valeurs actuelles)

''Chromatic pleasure'' (Le Monde)

''A manifesto with a good taste pop'' (Famille Chrétienne)

''Fugu 1 will remain our favorite disc for the spring and the summer of this year'' (Chronic'art)

''We want more...'' (Chronic'art)

''Fugu offers us a pop album as we would like to listen to more often'' (Polystyrène)

''This rich and well mastered instrumentation where violins, organs and brass play hopscotch'' (Abus Dangereux)

''Mehdi Zannad: providential hero of timeless philharmonic pop'' (Station service)

''Mehdi Zannad, a spendid chap'' (Les Inrockuptibles)