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ULAN BATOR: since 1993...
Wire Magazine (UK): "Ulan Bator’s music follows an eccentric orbit, while their power is usually kept simmering in reserve. The players investigate the borders of song structure.They build up enormous tension (...) they played a marathon three hour set with Faust early last year. Hard to imagine, given Ulan Bator's inherent sense of control: halting on the brink before complete freakout sets in is what makes the group so special"
Alternative Press (USA): "To say that this is the best rock music France has ever produced is to damn it with faint praise. This trio may be the only band from that oversauced nation to be worth a damn in a long time maybe since Metal Urbain or Magma (...) Call it musique concrete paved with irreverence.”
Les Inrockuptibles (Fr): "Préfigurant les secousses telluriques de Godspeed et consorts, ce groupe à la fois primitif et savant a libéré le rock hexagonal de ses chaînes. Ulan Bator réussit là où la plupart des groupes américains ont échoué".
Rocksound (Fr): "A écouter d'urgence pour sa finesse d'esprit et son intelligence".
ULAN BATOR started their long carrier in 1993 in Paris as a duet composed of founding member Amaury Cambuzat (Vox, Guitar and keyboards) and Olivier Manchion (Bass). Their first rehearsals sessions happened in a deep, unused chalk-mine in the suburbs of Paris. This strange location was, step by step, transformed into a "recording studio" where they were to record, compose and produce their first three recordings albums: “Ulan Bator”, “2 Degrees” and “Végétale”. In 1995, the duet was joined by Franck Lantignac (drums) who became the third permanent member of the group until 1999.
The first self-titled album "Ulan Bator" (Disques du Soleil et de l'Acier-FR) came out in March 1995. It was recorded in the band's studio and mixed at the CCAM studio in Nancy (Fr). But it was with the second album " 2 degrés" (DSA-FR) that the group garnered their most enthusiastic critical praise in France, the USA and elsewhere. The band's third album "Végétale" was released in 1997, and is entirely sung in French. The album was to reach a far broader public, due, in particular to the strong support of the leading French music magazine " Inrockuptibles". Since then Ulan Bator have toured heavily in Europe. They also gave a series of unforgettable concerts in 1997 with the German group Faust, a band with which Amaury Cambuzat continues to collaborate (the album, "C'est Compliqué", was released by the label Bureau-b in 2009).
In 1999 they released an EP "D-Construction" (DSA-FR) made up of remixes by notable figures from the electronic scene including Scanner, Otomo Yoshihide, Erik M, Carl Stone.
The album " Ego Echo" (Virgin-It/DSA-Fr/Young God the Record-USA), produced by Michael Gira (Swans, Angels off Lights) marked an important turning point in the career of the group. The band moved to, and continue to work from Italy. The album was released in the US by Gira's label Young God Records (Devendra Banhart, Swans, Lisa Germano, etc). The duet Cambuzat/Manchion finally separated after extensive touring following the release of "Ego:Echo".
Amaury Cambuzat continued to front Ulan Bator, releasing "Ok: Ko" (Audioglobe-IT) in 2002.
The next release in 2003 "Nouvel Air" (Alternative-It/DSA-Fr) saw the band preserving their usual musical complexity whilst also adding a new level of accessibility, due both to the introduction of new instrumentation, and also the mix by Robin Guthrie (Cocteau Twins, Violet Indiana).
In 2005 the album "Rodeo Massacre" came out (Jestrai-It/Rock'n'roll revolution-Fr), it was far more ‘direct’, and met with large success when two of the videos for the album were shown in heavy rotation on European MTV.
2007 saw the release of "Ulaan Baatar," a compilation of rare early tracks from the original line-up of the group: 1993-1998 (Jestrai-IT/Ruminance|Pia-FR)
In 2009 Amaury Cambuzat launched his own label Acid Cobra Records, releasing an EP "Soleils", made up of five new titles followed with a new Ulan Bator line-up: James Johnston (Gallon Drunk, Lydia Lunch, Bad Seeds) guitar/organ, Stéphane Pigneul (Object, Heligoland) on bass, and long-time collaborator Alessio Gioffredi (Dilatazione) on drums. A seventh studio album "Tohu-Bohu" featuring this new line-up was released on Acid Cobra Records in October, 2010. The group toured frequently prior to the recording of "Tohu-Bohu", and developed a powerful new sound for the album. "Tohu-Bohu" has been defined as the perfect link between Serge Gainsbourg and contemporary Avant-Rock.
Late 2012 has seen yet another line-up driven by Amaury Cambuzat featuring Diego Vinciarelli (bass), Luca Andriola (drums) and Nathalie Forget (Ondes Martenot). 2013 promises more tours and a new LP (to be announced in March) with the new line-up: "En France/En Transe".