Band of the Day

2013.02.01

Mr Day

Fiery, magnetic soul music from Lyon, France recorded in a timeless analog fashion
We used to ride around in cities of dreams. Or is it all fantasy scenes?
lyrics from Forgotten Realms

Behind the name Mr Day, lies a band led by singer, guitarist, DJ & collector Eric Duperray, a man strong of 20 years' experience in artistic projects of all kinds. From the mid-90's Eric began to make a name for himself with the group Kool Cats Club and toured a lot in the Acid Jazz scene, repeatedly making the first part of the label's leading bands like Corduroy or Mother Earth. A few years later, he collaborated with the flourishing label Rotax Disques and formed a duo with Pascal Rioux.

Together they produced several singles and got recognition within the international electro scene thanks to their sound inspired by the early days of Chicago and Detroit’s House music. Indeed, the title "Place Is Rockin'” ended up being selected by Dimitri From Paris on the first "Night at the Playboy Mansion" while "Salvation" features on a "Hotel Costes" compilation.

In 2003, Eric worked alongside Bruno "Patchworks" Hovart (producer and bass player from the Rotax family), a real starting point for a collaboration that would take them on very different playgrounds. Together they released a multitude of records on various labels from Paris, Frankfurt, Cologne, Chicago or London. They rapidly forged themselves an international reputation, both individually (as a singer and a producer), and as a duo. Notable successes include, among others, the classic "Yonuwhathislifeez" in 2004 under the name Metropolitan Jazz Affair, the incredible 45s "Seven Nation Army / Move On Up" by The Dynamics in 2007, the recent hit by Mr President, "The Best Is Yet To Come" or the track "Food For Soul" now available on this new album, and which already received recognition before its release (international advertising soundtrack for Nespresso, compilation Psyche on Acid-Jazz (2008) and finally the soundtrack for Alexander Coffre's latest movie).

Meanwhile, Eric and Bruno formed the band Mr Day in 2007, together with two experienced jazz musicians: Raphael Chambouvet, organ player with furious impros, and Remy Kaprielan, drummer with a solid groove. Without waiting they released a series of 45's, EPs and started touring, which led to their first album, Small Fry, released in 2010 on Favorite Recordings, a label founded by their friend Pascal Rioux in parallel of Rotax. The album received unanimous critical acclaim from Radio Nova, FIP, Le Monde and L'Humanité to name just a few. For Vibrations magazine, "While Mr Day sanctifies the vintage sound of Stax and Motown, they solely claim their own compositions, by the way excellent." Small Fry not only received a warm welcome, it also laid a solid foundation for a real band and a unique sound. It borrows and suggests some classic soul music so dear to Eric but it also clearly reveals the wide range of the group’s musical palette and moods, preamble for a second album even richer and more surprising.

Today, the project Mr Day keeps affirming itself. During the writing of this second album, the band evolved naturally towards a more ambitious sound which clearly set them at the intersection of Rock and Soul from the 60s to now. With the arrival of second guitarist Julien Masson, fervent founder of Buttshakers, as precious on stage as in studio, the band decided to use 100% analog production and recording techniques: magnetic tapes, live takes and cracklings contribute to producing a rich and organic sound. Like The Roots, who, when working with Cody Chestnut become unclassifiable both in terms of gender and time, Mr Day is very far from being a revival band. On the contrary, Dry Up In The Sun appears resolutely timeless, that is to say in his vintage, yet modern approach. The beats perfectly coexist alongside the guitars, as in the great era of Primal Scream in the 90s. The alchemy seems perfect and natural on each of the 10 tracks that make up this inspired and mastered sophomore work.

Mr Day now define themselves as a real Pop band. Never stuck into copying and firmly rooted in music genre, this second album is built primarily on a song format and comes from a band continuously looking for a sound that uses and mixes their many influences into something unique and original. Dense, without any frills and contagiously smart, Dry Up In The Sun alternates without any misstep between a magnetic soul ballad like "Follow You," an exhilarating pop anthem like "Forgotten Realms" or a bright cover of "Queen of the Minstrels" by Cornell Campbell, for which the group recorded in a chapel in order to find some natural reverb and singular energy. In the end, it's all the fun and excitement the band felt while recording that we can feel and taste in return by listening to this album, both on record or on stage.