Minuit / Last Night You Saw This Band / Review

by marcopantella

Read it on Chasseur Magazine Issue 3 / Utopia / page 7



New Zealand has been one of first countries to witness the dawn of the much anticipated apocalyptic day that December 21st 2012 was supposed to be. It was not the end of the world and for electronic band Minuit it was the perfect day to release their latest work “Last Night You Saw this Band”. Formed in Nelson and taking their name from the French word for midnight, lead singer Ruth Carr and machine players Paul Dodge and Ryan Beehre explore a more stripped-down sound with lots of percussive songs that enhance the feeling of a journey on a thin line between redemption and apocalyptic end.

The first minutes welcome us in this far away world with rhythmic island beats, starting with the opening title track, about those moments when friends remind you what life is all about, all to the background of a surprisingly, mariachi-style house party. Leading single “Book of the Dead” is next and despite the spooky lyrics, it is a M.I.A joins a tribe dancing around a big fire sort of song. The temperature rises up to “Island” and as some pressure is released by now, the mood shifts with “What We Know”.

Ruth’s voice seems to work better on more sinister and aggressive performances like “The Love That Won’t Shut Up” and the beautiful “Ghost” where this ritual under the stars gets haunting and almost frightening “You say stars align, ha! Can’t you see these stars are blind”. It reminds of the full moon and the stars on the artwork for the album’s cover and under this sky Minuit mix sinister with salvation, melting each track into a precise body of work.

Along with the mandatory lo-ends, gypsy brass, swampy slide guitar, and even some kids from an orphanage in Haiti, this eclectic and colorful trio not only pays attention to details in their music and gets inspired by their unique nature and surrounding but they also team up with onepercentcollective.org as one-percent of the album sales will go to the Kenbe La Foundation in Haiti helping disadvantaged children.

After this odyssey on the edge of the end of the world, Ruth sings a little poem to close the album. “Sit Down Beside Me” is a hymn of wonder and appreciation for the bright new dawn that has finally arrived and that we should not take for granted:

“Breeze rustles coconut trees my dear
white sandy beaches run to oceans clear
my dear, sit down beside me here, my dear
sit down for a moment here”