Video Premiere/Dominic Valvona

HESS ‘Substituer Un Traumatisme Imaginaire Á Un Véritable Chagrin’ (Commando Vanessa) 

Taken from Commando Vanessa’s inaugural showcase of 2021, the French project HESS’ ‘Substituer Un Traumatisme Imaginaire Á Un Véritable Chagrin’ appears on the avant-garde and experimental blossoming Italian label’s brand new compilation, Mansplained! One of a select few blogs premièring video-tracks from this highly ‘diverse, colourful, exaggerated, intimate, political and sexy compilation’, the Monolith Cocktail has been asked to share the inner space endoscopy accompanying video to HESS’ strange, bass-y, stomach-bubbled Library Music and Kosmische stirrings soundtrack; the title of which translates as ‘Substituting Imaginary Trauma For Real Sorrow’.

Formed at the end of 2019 with a raison d’être to ‘embrace differences’, Commando Vanessa has already made a worthy impact critically. The Monolith Cocktail premièred the Turin based label’s amorphous beatific Lutheran morose of Nico with diaphanous choral arias of the atavistic Catholic Church imbued John Poubelle ‘Pléistocène Supérieur’ suite back in the 2020: just before covid-19 reared its ugly head. We also featured the collaborative communion of Valentina Magaletti & Marlene Ribeiro’s Due Matte album in our recent choice albums of 2020 features.

To celebrate the label’s first year the upcoming Mansplained! compilation features a most diverse cast of artists and monikers from an ever-expanding roster: from the quarantine nightmare soundtracks of Pillbug Junctionfeat. Kelso Ashby to SIKSA’s Polish LGBTQIA+ community struggle anthem; from Lili Putana’s exaggeration of female stereotypes to the waves of Flawed God, the ambient project of Iphigenia Lee of Foie Gras. The fourteen-track compilation is released on the 29th January 2021, available both on tape and digitally. You can order it now through the label’s Bandcamp page.

Hi, my name is Dominic Valvona and I’m the Founder of the music/culture blog monolithcocktail.com For the last ten years I’ve featured and supported music, musicians and labels we love across genres from around the world that we think you’ll want to know about. No content on the site is paid for or sponsored and we only feature artists we have genuine respect for /love. If you enjoy our reviews (and we often write long, thoughtful ones), found a new artist you admire or if we have featured you or artists you represent and would like to buy us a coffee at https://ko-fi.com/monolithcocktail to say cheers for spreading the word, then that would be much appreciated.

PREMIERE/Dominic Valvona



John Poubelle ‘Pléistocène Supérieur’
(Commando Vanessa) LP/23rd June 2020


Amorphously combining the beatific Lutheran morose of Nico with diaphanous choral arias of the atavistic Catholic Church, Louise Burger’s debut cassette tape and digital album for the burgeoning Italian label Commando Vanessa invokes a transmogrified vision of holy music for the 21st century.

Under the solo alias of John Poubelle, Burger reimagines the sacred and classical hymns, songs and psalms of her formative years on a soundtrack of both mysterious beauty and bestial esoteric alarm: A counterbalance of the hallowed and unsettling, the coarse and ecclesiastical sublime.

“Raw and beautiful imperfection(s)” permeate a sonic and vocal ether that Burger has called “punk fragile de sous-soil” – fragile punk of the subsoil. Tethered to the earth, the chthonian, Pléistocène Supérieur sees the artist shake off the dirt of the subterranean (most of the time anyway) to drift towards both unworldly and spiritual realms. It’s an imaginative spell of dank dungeons; stained glass anointed prayer and circumnavigated projections around the sun.

Though riding solo, recording in the “twilight” and “solitude” of a home studio, Burger carries over the veiled cooing falsetto vocals and pedal effects experiments from the Gran Diavolato duo with Gianlorenzo Nardi. At times the invocations are haunting, and almost chilling, at other times more monastic like Popol Vuh in a Medieval cloisters. Lower baritone chants from some hidden holy order are often laid down as quasi-bass drones, whilst Burger floats like an apparition above: touching the cathedral ceiling frescos.

This reverberated venerable but also so often foreboding atmosphere is broken up with a combination of early lo fi Mute label post-punk electronica and somber moans. Sucked through and back into a mix of bellowed harmonium, the industrial and ceremonial, Burger creates an abstract alternative to the music of the liturgy.

The Monolith Cocktail is honored to premiere a teaser from this both caustic and beautiful choral album with our readers ahead of the official release on the 23rd June 2020.






Hi, my name is Dominic Valvona and I’m the Founder of the music/culture blog monolithcocktail.com For the last ten years I’ve featured and supported music, musicians and labels we love across genres from around the world that we think you’ll want to know about. No content on the site is paid for or sponsored and we only feature artists we have genuine respect for /love. If you enjoy our reviews (and we often write long, thoughtful ones), found a new artist you admire or if we have featured you or artists you represent and would like to buy us a coffee at https://ko-fi.com/monolithcocktail to say cheers for spreading the word, then that would be much appreciated.

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