"Las Vegas Is Cursed"
1. I Can't Hear You
2. Channel 12
3. Her Eyes Are A Blue Million Miles
4. Still Moving In Fear
5. Sandwiched #1
6. Sandwiched #2
7. Sombre (Le Submarine)

What would happen if two people as different as Hector Zazou (eclectic & elegant French composer/producer) and Sandy Dillon (gravel-voiced maverick American singer/songwriter) decided to record an album together ?

This is not a rhetorical question anymore, as these two unlikely bedfellows have just completed the most wonderful, provocative and uniquely nonconformist album to come out in a long, long time ...

Hector had originally asked Sandy to make a vocal contribution to one track of a project he was working on, which involved several guest singers. They were both so excited by the result that they set out to create an entire album... without ever meeting face to face ! Everything was done through mail and phone communication (“it was like phone sex” says Sandy, “Hector would call me and whisper softly : don’t you think we should shorten ze intro ?...”), and their first meeting finally took place after 12(LasVegasIsCursed) was completed.

One thing Sandy and Hector are definitely sharing is an unflagging, absolute love and admiration for the work of Captain Beefheart. It may be more apparent in Sandy’s case: she has declared that she wanted her current band to have something of the vibe of Beefheart's Magic Band and that she consequently chose the musicians for their “unique loyalty to chaos”... For those unfamiliar with her work, let’s just say that “her voice is a rasping, husky wheeze, it's pitched somewhere between the smoky desperation of Janis Joplin and the gravelly tones of Tom Waits... her music: a snarled, raw stab at modern blues... an intoxicating brew” (The Times), or that “her music is a twisted blues that has echoes of Captain Beefheart, Tom Waits and Nick Cave” (Sunday Times), and that she describes her songs as “torch songs where the women don't get burnt” (*).

But Zazou is also a longtime Beefheart fan and, after having based most of his work throughout the 90’s on traditional and sacred music (**) and having enlisted such prestigious guests as Ryuichi Sakamoto, Khaled, Gérard Depardieu, Suzanne Vega, Björk or John Cale to collaborate to his largely ethereal superproductions, he is returning with this album to the rougher, freeform, insolent spirit of his first musical adventures in the 70’s.

So: LasVegasIsCursed... 12 tracks which defy all attempts at categorization : Zazou and Dillon have freed themselves from all restraints and conventions. They clearly sound like two artists seized by creative euphoria. They’ve broken every rule in the book in order to assemble this suite of baroque pieces, which sound like a report from a strange/familiar country (or state of mind ?). Rhythms, tempos, song structures, sounds and textures are twisted and stretched. Zazou seems to have been working more like a movie director, and has been freely manipulating all the ingredients that normally make up a piece of music in order to use them to their dramatic best. Unexpected and brilliant slabs of horn or percussion arrangements appear from time to time to punctuate Sandy Dillon’s supernatural vocal renditions of her ferociously ironic texts, and even the seemingly most serious moments of the album are infused with playfulness and with a corrosive sense of humour.

The album largely revolves around Sandy’s voice and Hector’s keyboards and soundscapes, but Zazou has also brought in his longtime collaborators Christian Lechevretel & Renaud Pion (on woodwind & brass), as well as guitarists Marc Ribot, Justin Adams (Brian Eno, Sinead O'Connor), Porl Thompson (ex-Cure) and Steve Bywater (Sandy Dillon Band), drummer Bill Rieflin (Ministry, Nine Inch Nail), bass player Daniel Yvinec and several more. The mix was entrusted to the inimitable Peter Walsh (who produced the latest Scott Walker albums), assisted by Florentine engineer Lorenzo Tommasini.

Now it’s time to relinquish all your prejudices at the cloakroom, and get ready to be captivated by Dillon & Zazou’s unsettling screenplay... Also: don’t ever forget that God Believes In Showbiz.


SANDY DILLON - Las Vegas Is Cursed
Las Vegas Is Cursed