Cyclorama by Polo & Pan
Panpipes, sweet backing vocals, rap, bouncing bass, joyful Parisian Pop. You can feel good too
For the uninitiated, Polo & Pan are a French duo comprising Paul Armand-Delille and Alexandre Grynszpan and they make delightful electronic Pop music. Cyclorama is their second album, following 2017's Caravelle, and extends their brand of feel-good vibes (with songs about Peter Pan and Jiminy Cricket). Since the release of last year's Feel Good EP they've been teasing out tracks from the album, with each bolstering further their impressionistic impact.
They originally met in 2012 as resident DJs at Paris' seminal Le Baron nightclub and developed a marriage of technical skill and keen Pop sensibility, appropriating the best bits from their musical influences, to form a signature sound that's undeniably their own, even if Magic makes you think it's an ELO cover at first!
While the few instrumentals across the fourteen tracks bring balance and pace, most tracks wow with vocals, ranging from double-tracked backing-style (check Ani Kuni or Oasis) alongside guest vocalists Antonin on album closer Peter Pan and Channel Tres on Tunnel (his Rappy contribution, like a Galcher Lustwerk protégé, must be aimed at the US market) to uncredited singing on Les jolies choses, Attrape-rêve and my personal fav, bringing to mind Astrud Gilberto, Melody, with a really memorable er... melody! (Who is this French female vocalist? She's great!).
Elsewhere Jiminy sounds like Tiga having fun and Ani Kuni kicks off with on an Ennio Morricone riff before the panpipes kick in. Overall it lollops gaily and throbbs gently in all the right places, just like the fat bass lines that underpin a few tracks; Bilboquet (Sirba) in particular is like Jürgen Paape's jolly Ofterschwang. With high production values it's a heady brew comprising well-selected ingredients, expertly arranged; very difficult to find fault. Nobody can deny that Polo & Pan deliver on their promise of joy and entertainment.