the art of coincidence1996 the art of coincidence
the art of coincidence is the seventeenth studio album of Tèxord based alternative rock band bad medecine. The album was recorded in Wales and released in the summer of 1996. This is the first album with Rafael Vantschildt as a bass player and it is produced by David Zhoo.
01. [4.01] sunglassesbuilder [k, bello/bello, robijn, k]
02. [3.42] recycled shit [k/k, bello]
03. [6.03] bullet into my head [k/k, bello]
04. [6.17] who is the strongest [k/k, bello]
05. [3.12] [cardiffian] paperboy [rafa/robijn, rafa]
06. [6.48] my chance [k/k]
07. [4.23] blood [robijn/rafa, robijn]
08. [2.49] my aunt has a gun [robijn/rafa, robijn]
09. [4.34] dance with those tears [k/k, rafa, bello]
10. [4.26] every saturday [k/rafa, k]
11. [4.29] fight or don’t [k/rafa, robijn, bello, k]
12. [6.23] pall mall [robijn, rafa/robijn, rafa, bello]
13. [4.04] blackjack [k/k, bello, robijn, rafa]
Papa Beer : vocals + guitars
Bello Dehond : drums
Robijn Debeear : guitars
Rafael Vanhetschildt : bass + keyboards
Lead vocals on ‘blood’ and ‘my aunt has a gun’ by Robijn
Lead vocals on ‘[cardiffian] paperboy’, ‘blood’ and ‘pall mall’ by Rafa
Strings played by nero’s heroes : Guy Leekens (viola) Nairobi Kambiri (violin) Leo Marinsky (violin) and Gwenn Daramo (cello)
Recorded at “cardiffian kangooroo studio”, Febr – Juni 1996
Produced by David Zhoooooo o o o ooo
Engineered by Sinti & Cas Jansze
Mixed at “the mick studiós” by Josh Everest
Released at myzelf music inc, August 1996
Contrary to earlier hiatuses, the two years of radio silence bad medecine had in the nineties was not at all planned. In the seventies, several band members wanted to concentrate on their solo careers and in the eighties, Papa Beer went to rehab whereas Bello focused on his second film. Following the sudden loss of Roy Beast in 1992, bad medecine did not want to continue straight away because they were mourning for their friend. Robijn compiled and the best of cd with Rafael Vantschildt and whilst they were doing this, they found a lot of material that had never been used. This lead them to make a remix album which appears on 'four'.
Writing and composition
For the recordings of 'the art of coincidence', bad medecine decided to work away from their usual habitat. They stayed for five months in Wales, where they recorded their new material with David Zhoo. In addition to Papa Beer, Bello and Robijn the group was completed by Rafael Vantschildt, whom already played bass in Robijn’s side project. Being a big nature fan, David Zhoo took them hiking and spending time in nature inspired the band a lot. Most of the songs are written by Papa Beer, even though Rafael and Robijn also came up with a lot of ideas for songs.
Musically, the band explores the groovy and darker sides of mature rock music. The songs 'sunglassesbuilder' and 'pall mall' are dreamy and psychedelic, whilst 'bullet into my head' and 'blackjack' are rather aggressive with strange chord progressions. There is 'recycled shit' and 'my aunt has a gun' that are both wild punk songs, whereas 'my chance' and 'who is the strongest' are slower bluesy songs. 'every saturday' is a rocky singalong song, while 'blood' is a rather grungy song. The song 'fight or don't' is characterised by its rallentando ending, and 'dance with those tears' stands out as a salsa.
A lot of the lyrics talk about the repetitive nature of daily life. This can be found back in 'recycled shit', criticising the revival of older music and fashion; the homages to nine-to-five jobs in 'sunglassesbuilder' and '[cardiffian] paperboy'; and 'every saturday' that is about getting drunk in the weekends. There is also a song about doing nothing, 'fight or don't', and about being privileged 'my chance'. The songs 'pall mall' and 'who is the strongest' sketch an image of the lifestyle of rockers, whereas they suggest wicked solutions for emotional problems on in 'bullet into my head' and 'blackjack'.
The artwork is a painting of Papa Beer, viewed from a perspective on the ground. It is the only bad medecine album that depicts Papa Beer solo on the front sleeve. On the back, there is a picture of the Welsh countryside with the band walking in the background. Inside the booklet, we find the lyrics of the songs alongside portraits of the four musicians. Papa Beer is credited as Karolez, Robijn as Rabbi, Rafael as Raphaelo and Bello as B. Dehond.
Release and reception
Upon releasing, the album received overwhelming reviews. The art of coincidence sold very well and established bad medecine as one of the biggest alternative rock acts still active. The record was praised for its heavy sound without being inaccessible. Again, the band had succeeded to intertwine contemporary styles in their music without copying, for example Robijn’s use of a 7-strings guitar and the subtle electronics by Rafa.
The song ‘who is the strongest’ was chosen as a first single, accompanied by a clip showing dolls of historical figures such as Martin L. King, Che Guevara, Gandhi & Guy Fawkes and artists such as Sophocles, Vincent van Gogh, Salvador Dalí & Rimbaud but also more contemporary ones as Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, John Lennon & Serge Gainsbourg. At the end of1996, ‘recycled shit’ was released worldwide, with the exception of UK and US that got ‘sunglassesbuilding’. Both videoclips show parts of the making of the album. In 1997, the wild ‘blackjack’ was the fourth single, completely ignored by popular radio’s and only got airplay after nine o’clock. The same for the clip, showing a story of a drugs carousel.
Following the release of the album in month 1996, bad medecine took off on a worldwide tour. To promote their album, they also did a bunch of radio- and TV-appearances, playing acoustic sessions and sometimes in-store gigs. They extended their tour because of the high demand and to accompany this world tour, the band released an ep with new songs and a live record plus video called ‘liver’ in 1998. During the two years spanning world tour, they released another ep before the summer of 1999.
The live shows were mostly big, though sometimes the band played in a small venue as well. As a quartet, Bello always drummed and Papa Beer played guitars, although he played less guitars than before, Rafa & Robijn alternated with bass, guitar and keyboards and both added backing vocals. The two played on Fender basses, korg keyboards and oldschool Epiphones, Telecasters and Jazzmasters. Papa Beer played on Gibson Les Paul, SG and a Fender Jaguar.
Coming back from the tour at the end of 1999, they needed time off so they all went on holidays separately. The first rehearsal bad medecine did after, they recorded and then released it as a live recording. 'i don't know for this band' has a couple of new songs and was released a month after it’d been recorded. Only then, bad medecine went in the studio again to record their albums 'bèbè' and 'the other side of god/child of jesus'.