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PRESS

"Chef d'œuvre de spon-tanéité... Un ravissement pour les oreilles et une nourriture abondante pour le cerveau."

- Elora Kittet et Maxime Gueugneau, Kiblind, octobre 2021 

Quoiqu'on en dise, les années effacent les souvenirs, aussi précieux soient-ils. Pour que le chef-d'œuvre de spontanéité qu'est l'album Chaleur humaine de UMAN ne finisse pas dans l'oubli comme tant d'autres, le label Freedom to Spend le réédite aujourd'hui. Initialement composé en 1992 par les frère et sœur Danielle et Didier alias UMAN, Chaleur humaine est un ravissement pour les oreilles et une nourriture abondante pour le cerveau. Des éléments intattendus qu'on pensait incompatibles y fusionnent pour dessiner un tableau final à la force artistique unique. Agrémenté d'improvisations au piano, des vocalises lyriques de Danielle, de récits contés en langue étrangère, et de tout un joyeux ensemble de sonorités cosmiques, Chaleur humaine traverse et traversera le temps sans jamais vaciller.

Kiblind

 

"No parts of this album should be skipped, and I’m not picking highlights here so much as listing examples."

- Duncan Edwards, Brainwashed, 3 octobre 2021 

In 1992, 8-bit samplers were cutting-edge gear. This reissue of Chaleur Humaine by French siblings Danielle and Didier Jean, shows Didier's use of a sampler to reshape and project his sister’s voice into a memorable, magical-sounding dream world with barely discernible hints of doom under the glossy enveloping surface. At times it is reminiscent of the tracks "Alsee,” “Criminie,” “Bruma,” and “ Wask,” on Nuno Canavarro’s Plux Quba (1988). Very different albums in some senses, but in a wildly imperfect analogy, the recognizable voice parts on Plux are like Elizabeth Fraser hiccuping through tubes in an Yves Tanguy surrealist painting whereas Chaleur resembles Virginia Astley and Sheila Chandra harmonizing with helium-high hedgehogs in a symbolist landscape by Marc Chagall. {...}

The full article...

 

"Our 10 favourite new vinyl releases this week (17th September)"

- James Hammond, Vinyl Factory, 17 septembre 2021

Locking themselves in their Parisian studio in 1992 and striking out against industry expectations, Chaleur Humaine is the result of Danielle and Didier Jean single-minded pursuit of a shared vision of vocal and electronic harmony. All the better for its lack of restraint, and its adherence to a logic that feels distinctly of their own making, these breathy incantations welcome in eight languages, and harmonize and pitch shift at will between Danielle Jean’s vocals and her brother’s keys. Freedom To Spend first time on vinyl for an ethereal oddity that leans towards new age in its open-hearted aspirations, but veers away from genre specifics in its idiosyncrasies. – JH

Vinyl Factory

 

"Ein traumhaft schöner Soundtrack zwischen Ambient und Neo-Folk..."

- Wolfgang Kabsch, Music an sich, septembre 2021

{...} Und damit haben sie tatsächlich ein Kleinod aus dem Feld der elektronischen Musik / Ambient / Neofolk und Art-Pop gehoben. Uman lagen mit diesem Album irgendwo auf der Grenze zwischen zarten, eingängigem Elektroambient und folkigen Elementen, die sich schon dem Neo-Folk und auch der Alternativen-Elektronik-Szene der frühen 90er mit Bands wie In the Nursery, Chandeen und der Heavenly-Voices-Szene annähern. {...}

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"Alle zwischen Burial, A.G. Cook und David Lynch dürften sich von »Chaleur Humaine« nicht nur einen Pausenschmäh abge-schaut haben."

- Christoph Benkeser, HHVmag, 22 septembre 2021

Die New-Age’isierung der Gesellschaft schreitet voran. Die Fußmatte der Nachbarin sagt »Keep Smiling«, beim Zahnarzt rauscht Tarzan durch den Regenwald. Und sogar in Nazikellern baumeln bald Traumfänger von der Bunkerdecke. Alle wollen chillen, niemand gibt’s zu. Dass man in den Neunzigern schon weiter war und aus Synthesizern ein Zimmerbrunnen-Geplärre quetschte, bei dem sich selbst Enya die Ohren abgesäbelt hätte, fällt manchen erst jetzt auf. Uman, das Geschwisterpaar um Danielle und Didier Jean, husteten in den Suburbs von Paris erst über Pop-Platten, als man 1992 den guten Stoff entdeckte und mit »Chaleur Humaine« eine Scheibe für psychoaktive Pflanzentrips veröffentlichte. {...}

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"Danielle’s input steers matters nearer to Freedom to Spend’s comparison of Cocteau Twins and Enya."

- Josef Neff, Vinyl district, 23 septembre 2021

{...} That isn’t a surprise really, as stylistically, this is about a thousand yards away from my listening diet at the time (e.g., noise rock, free jazz, low-fi, Jandek). The sound of this recording, which, alongside a remastered CD, is making its debut on vinyl with this reissue (plus a bonus 7-inch in the bundle offer), has some affinities with New Age (there is a 1995 UMAN 12-inch on Windham Hill), as there are a few horn lines that insinuate camping out on the outskirts of a tropical rain forest, or even suggest (gasp) smooth jazz, but thankfully Danielle’s input steers matters nearer to Freedom to Spend’s comparison of Cocteau Twins and Enya. Overall, the thrust is a lot more art-poppy; at a few points, I thought of goings-on in Japan from roughly a decade prior to Chaleur Humaine’s release. Also, Downtown NYC, and even once or twice, Ralph Records.

The full article

"The stunning New Age vision of French siblings Danielle and Didier Jean, unearthed by Freedom
To Spend."

- Matt Mc Dermott, Résident Advisor, 27 septembre 2021

{...} The lush pads, harpsichords and inventive vocal chopping on tracks like "UMAN Spirit" put me in mind of Art Of Noise. Lumbering downtempo beats make occasional appearances, while tracks like "Atmosphère" resemble the globally minded New Age fusion of Mark Isham's early Windham Hill catalogue. {...} The outro of "Human," perhaps my favourite song on the record, is baroque, luxuriant pop music redolent of the elegant '80s. Meanwhile, the proto-Autotune and harpsichord action on the penultimate track, "Ménestre," resembles some PC Music affiliate trying their hand at '90s R&B. Which is to say: it sounds like nothing else at all. In order to make a placeless music, artists must free themselves of any preconceived notions of commercial success or critical reception. They must dispose of cool, calculating remove in favor of full immersion in their art. It makes sense, then, that the Jean siblings released pop music that failed to connect prior to inventing their own musical language. {...} But Danielle and Didier never fit neatly into a scene and they still don't. To conform, the Jeans would need to adopt some signs and signifiers of an existing tradition—whether the crystal vibrations of the New Age scene or druggy euphoria of downtempo and ambient house. Instead, they took the less-traveled route, forging their own extraordinary path.

The full article

"Chaleur Humaine diventa un lavoro di elettronica ragionata e downtempo,
e si rivela capace di superare agilmente la prova del tempo."

- Piergiuseppe Lippolis, MusicMap, septembre 2021

{...} Da queste premesse, nel 1992, vide la luce “Chaleur Humaine”. Nel disco, Danielle canta, utilizzando la sua voce quasi come uno strumento, anche in virtù degli studi in canto gregoriano e in musica gospel. Il resto è dato da una cascata di sintetizzatori di miele, sample vari, compresi alcuni estratti da film, tracce di flauto di Pan, in un lavoro che non appare mai ridondante nonostante una durata importante (diciannove brani in poco meno di un’ora di musica).

Alla fine, “Chaleur Humaine” diventa un lavoro di elettronica ragionata e downtempo, e si rivela capace di superare agilmente la prova del tempo, ma anche di inserirsi senza fatica nel presente storico, pur senza mostrare somiglianze con altri prodotti più conosciuti di questa epoca. 

The full article

"RVNG Intl. nous fait revivre les incroyables débuts du duo UMAN."

- Emile, Goutemesdisques, 14 septembre 2021

Dans le business ultime des rééditions, en voilà une qui a plus d'intérêt qu'un simple remaster et un track acoustique bonus pour un disque sorti il y a à peine dix ou quinze ans. Mais est-ce qu'on est vraiment surpris ? RVNG Intl. ne fait pas dans l'évidence, et nous l'a déjà prouvé cette année avec la sortie des disques de Pauline Anna Strom. 

Cette fois, c'est un duo bien moins connu qui va passer par la moulinette du label new-yorkais : UMAN, duo français qui a démarré sa carrière par un disque oscillant entre post-punk, new age et musique électronique et intitulé Chaleur Humaine. {...}

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"La dextérité des Jean à se mouvoir dans un créneau qui ne doit rien à quiconque si ce n’est eux-mêmes et leur fertilité dans la création.."

- Will Dum, Muzzart, 15 septembre 2021

{...} le disque recueille dix-neuf titres aventureux, souvent aériens, marqués par une identité qu’on ne retrouve pas ailleurs. Dédié à de nouvelles formes, enregistré dans le studio personnel du frère et de la soeur, il s’envole dès Человечность, courte pièce introductive chantée en…Russe, si je ne m’abuse, narrative, perchée dans la stratosphère. On est de suite happé, enveloppé dans un halo de tranquillité. UMAN spirit suit, selon un chant qui n’est pas sans rappeler Liz Frazer, de Cocteau Twins, dans ses temps les plus posés. L’ornement est réduit, le rythme quasi-inexistant et pourtant, ça prend. Des petits sons presque bridés, décisifs, décorent une collection aussi addictive que le Colossal Youth des Young Marble Giants. Aubade, cold et belle, se fait alors entendre. On prend note, là aussi, de la valeur d’un minimalisme de génie. S’il surprend au départ, s’il décontenance presque, Chaleur Humaine, bien nommé, captive par la suite. Il faut l’aller-chercher, passé l’effort on est dans le confort. {...}

The full article

"Album envoûtant où la voix pure de Danielle et les nappes de synthé-tiseurs de Didier nous convient à un voyage hors du temps et des modes."

- Bernard Jean, Electrik bamboo, septembre 2021

Belle surprise que la réédition de cet album surprenant sorti à l’origine en 1992 sur le label Buda Musique. Il est l’œuvre d’un couple de musiciens français, les frère et soeur Danielle et Didier Jean.

Nés au sud de Paris, dans la vallée de Chevreuse, ils ont grandi dans une atmosphère familiale où la musique était omniprésente. Danielle a travaillé sa voix au sein de groupes vocaux et des choeurs, Didier de son côté a débuté comme bassiste.

Ils ont toujours gardé un lien très proche et ont eu l’habitude de travailler la musique ensemble. Ils ont peu à peu composé des musiques dans un esprit de grande liberté en refusant toute concession et en laissant une place importante à l’improvisation chère aux influences du jazz et du rock progressif. {...}

The full article

"Danielle’s soaring, highly processed vocals—which could sit comfortably alongside those of Enya or Cocteau Twins’ Elizabeth Fraser—further enhance the music’s magical feel."

- Shawn Reynaldo, First Floor #98, 22 septembre 2021

Fans of Pure Moods-style ambient and new age are going to love Chaleur Humaine, the newly reissued 1992 album from French outfit UMAN (a.k.a. the brother-and-sister duo of Danielle and Didier Jean). A dreamy, high-gloss affair, the LP’s sparkling chimes and fuzzy atmospheres conjure images of fairy tales and fantasy novels, and Danielle’s soaring, highly processed vocals—which could sit comfortably alongside those of Enya or Cocteau Twins’ Elizabeth Fraser—further enhance the music’s magical feel. On “Entrelacs,” she coos an invented language amidst an alluring swirl of pastel melodies, while the tear-jerking drama of “Cordes Sensibles” is even more intense, with UMAN “playing” a series of manipulated (albeit operatic) vocal clips atop the song’s sadly tinkling piano and laid-back trip-hop beat. Is it all a bit tacky? Perhaps, but it’s also wondrous and transportive. If someone built a luxury spa that was equally inspired by ’90s chillout rooms and the work of J. R. R. Tolkien, Chaleur Humaine would definitely be the house soundtrack.

First Floor #98 

"Chaleur Humaine is a serious treasure trove of ideas and raw expression that bottles the chaotic analog-to-digital era with no small amount of panache."

Boomkat - 17 septembre 2021

{...} UMAN teeter between identifiable pop forms ('UMAN Spirit', 'Entrelacs') and more challenging expressions that draw on experimental and new age concepts, like the lilting 'Mémoire Vive' and Badalamenti-esque 'Aubade'. It's an album that's jam-packed with gorgeous sounds, but seems to refresh itself with each track, skating close to plasticky exotica but never drifting into parody. Looking at it now, it feels as if it translates and pre-empts the shift from DIY rawk and folk sounds into hypnagogic pop and synth modes in the mid-'00s.

The recent obsession with neo-new age forms has resulted in some avoidable lost idols, but 'Chaleur Humaine' is a serious treasure trove of ideas and raw expression that bottles the chaotic analog-to-digital era with no small amount of panache. Anyone who's enjoyed Belgian node STROOM's extraordinary stretch of quirky electro-plated lounge-pop treasures won't wanna miss this.

The full article

"E li che l’elettronica analogica degli Uman prende formadi danze amniotiche costruite su groove lunari e arrangiate con i suoni della new age della Windham Hill."

- Roberto Mandolini, Rockerilla - septembre 2021

A 30 anni dal loro esordio e a piu di venti dall’ultimo disco pubblicato, tornano i francesi Uman con un nuovo capitol della loro storia, chaleur humaine. I gemelli Danielle e didier Jean vivono ad Orsay, un luogo incantato alle porte di Parigi circondato da boschi. E li che l’elettronica analogica degli Uman prende formadi danze amniotiche costruite su groove lunari e arrangiate con i suoni della new age della Windham Hill. Il basso asciutto alla Mick Karn di Didier e i vocalizzi che ricardano ora Elizabeth Frazer ora Enya di Danielle, creano atmosfere oniriche e allo stesso temp confortanti : « it’s this force almost animal, warm like a kiss, fresh like the morning dew, that we call human warmth.

Rockerilla

"Drawing further inspiration from the improvisational character of jazz and progres-sive rock, and gleaning ideas from the visual arts, Didier and Danielle explored sounds existing beyond commonly set scenes in music."

- African paper - 6 septembre 2021

{...} Persuading early sampler and rompler instruments from their memory board’s cold hold, on Chaleur Humaine Didier reimagined Danielle’s vocal improvisations in a way that expressed gradients of human warmth. “UMAN Spirit” (formerly “The White Spirit,” now updated for the modern moment), “Human,” and “Atmosphère” were songs from Chaleur Humaine that Didier and Danielle solicited alongside album demos to a few in the French music industry, and which found their way to Gilles Fruchaux, who would release the album on his Buda Musique label. Poetically, it was a record label known for its rich world music catalog that signed a group which reimagined music from around—and beyond—our world into a peerless postmodern collection. Although you might find bits of Chaleur Humaine reminiscent of the works of Giovanni Venosta, Nuno Canavarro, Wally Badarou, and others, UMAN played no role in a zeitgeist. In their own mercurial space and through their own inventions, UMAN performed and collaborated with fringe choreographers, painters, and artists, promoting universality over artistic myopia in music. {...}

The full article

"Chaleur Humaine is a highly textural and esoteric album, abundant with dream state vocals that have been sampled, shifted and processed to create some truly surreal atmospheres."

- Tom Durston, Inverted audio - 8 juillet 2021

First released in 1992 via Buda Musique, UMAN‘s debut new age album ‘Chaleur Humaine’ is being reissued for the first time courtesy of Pete Swanson’s and Jed Bindeman’s NYC-based imprint Freedom To Spend.

Following two pop albums released in the early 1990s, siblings Danielle and Didier Jean were eager to reject the conformity of the mainstream music leading them to relocate to Orsay, a suburb south of Paris, where they built a humble studio in isolation. ‘Chaleur Humaine’ was a modus operandi for their new, liberated perspective and this new space gave them the freedom to develop and experiment with ideas independently.

Consisting of 19-tracks, ‘Chaleur Humaine’ is a highly textural and esoteric album, abundant with dream state vocals that have been sampled, shifted and processed to create some truly surreal atmospheres. The reissue will be available in vinyl, CD and digital format. A portion of the proceeds from the release will be donated to Greenpeace France.

Inverted audio