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J. Bernardt and his disco music who cries



In an ever-growing collection of groups that mix and brew musical genres over and over, like stuck on the hypnotic tornado of a blender where fruit and veg intertwine to create a wonderfully tasteful mixture, J. Bernardt is not the exception that proves the rule, but still an exception. A beautiful exception that is, just like Alt-J that relaxes a little, Unno that rings its siren or even Nick Hakim accompanied by his green twins. At times when the socks and flip-flops try their hand at making music – worse than it is good – the artist’s mixture is full of vitamins. B9, C, E, plus the one we’ve never heard of. The one that rattles our stimuli. To plug our earphones in to “Running Days’ is to expose ourselves to an incontrollable hormonal shock.

Behind this introverted philosopher’s pen name hides Jinte Deprez, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist whose career took off with Belgian group Balthazar. After the release of this group effort, Deprez does not deny finding it difficult to extricate himself from the group’s world and it’s creation logic. “I’m a very automatic songwriter, so at first I was still creating Balthazar-style music”, he says. “Working alone, I learned that music’s not hard to create, but difficult to finish. And that was the most interesting part of this journey – and definitely what I needed – because when you’re on that kind of path, you discover something new about yourself”.


After experimenting with a Korg PolySix, Deprez decided to bridge new musical borders, based on his love for the 60’s created with Balthazar and his unsatiated curiosity that group work restricted at times. Through the exploration of meanings and genres, from soul to jazz to R’n’B and folk, he concentrated on detaching himself from the Deprez he knew, the Deprez he feared. He shed his skin, creating a new one, liberating his inner rattlesnake. “As Balthazar grew so did the tours, the crew and the involvement of the label. So I felt the urge to get some distance from that and find something new and more straightforward. When you write an album with a band, it’s hard to get really personal, because you’re not saying something for yourself, you’re saying it through four other people”.


Plural births. Oversized senses in only one brain. J. Bernardt multiplies the warming fragrances, avoids the clichés and easy-to-swallow constraints. He playfully depicts his hypersensitive music as “Cry Disco”. Without being melodramatic or sad, nor too happy or abused by extreme emotions, Deprez depicts what can be felt in one day, one week, one month and more. The time that runs, that slips away from us. He depicts what everyone feels or not, healing oneself with an emotion or another, a worry with a treat, a cry with a kiss. Nothing more. Nothing less.



“Running Days” by J. Bernardt was released on 16th June 2017 on Play It Again Sam/(PIAS)

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Julien Catala
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