Arts & Events

Overlooking The Sound: ‘L’Âme-Biance’

This Week: “L’Âme-Biance” with DJ Lune and DJ Lavender, Tuesdays at 1 p.m.
Some music is wonderful and other music is just weird; this music is, incredibly, both.
DJs Lune and Lavender take their listeners on a trip, from Latin America to Scandinavia, Western Africa to Eastern Europe and everywhere in between.
Several themes connect their music. The most influential element of the songs is their embodiment of ‘soul’. Not soul music in the gospel or spiritual sense, but rather artists that put their soul into what they produce.
The name of the show is thus appropriately a clever use of the French word l’âme, or “soul.”
How does one tell if a song has soul? Well, it is completely subjective. But it is safe to say that a song that resonates with the listener captures it. A song that really sucks you in and takes you to another place and time can do it, too. This show is full of such songs transcending genres and cultures.
The lack of American/English music also defines the show. “L’Âme-Biance” explores the globe in search of modern music in any language other than English. As a result, some Norwegian and Swedish listeners may be offended by pronunciation of artists like Evje and Mø, but that hardly matters right? It is impressive that these DJs can navigate blogs that they cannot even read to find the best songs for their show.
A worldly theme also brings a lot of diversity to the show, which can get a bit haphazard sometimes, but DJs Lune and Lavender pick their line-up well. They started this week’s show with lighter, maybe more acceptable, French songwriter type of music. We stayed in Western Europe for a little while, bounced down to Spain and over to Quebec. Gradually the songs became more trancelike and electronic as we travelled to Finland and other Scandinavian countries. By the end of the show we had listened to hip-hop from goodness-knows-where and tribal rhythm-inspired tracks from other wild countries.
Another common theme to “L’Âme-Biance” is female vocalists, although that may not be on purpose. It just so happens that the DJs seem to prefer the lady musicians.
The collaboration between these two DJs is remarkable. Only at Puget Sound could two people who are passionate about this unusual niche find each other. They have been doing shows together since their sophomore year and you can tell by the ease with which they put together a set of tunes. Both DJs pick out about half of the songs to play, which shows confidence in each other’s musical choices.
Unlike many other shows reviewed so far, these two keep their on-air time polished and quick. Where the band is from, an attempt at pronouncing the song titles and what’s coming up next keeps the listeners tuned much more into the music than the ramble.
Because of the focus on foreign languages, beats and sounds and the sometimes trance-like selections, this show could be a great zone-out time or a good zone-in time for some early afternoon studying.
There is the potential to get distracted by the new sounds coming out of your speakers, however, for this show is one-of-a-kind. Surprisingly recommendable, “L’Âme-Biance” will take you somewhere you have never been before.