“It’s more funny for me to walk beside the road than straight on.” So says Ezechiel Pailhes, a musician with an accomplished track record in taking the unconventional approach to his craft. Best known as one half of flamboyant raconteurs Noze, Ezechiel has spent the past ten years toying with the fundamentals of house music, jazz and classical to present four albums, countless singles and a raucous live show to the world. Prior to embarking on this salubrious venture with Nicolas Sfintescu, he had already spent years training in highly regarded schools and conservatories in Paris and Marseille, acclimatizing himself with the rules of music, only so that he may display flagrant disregard for them in his own work.
Both in Noze, and now in his own solo project, Ezechiel has never been drawn to making a particular ‘style’ of music, instead feeding on a myriad of influences with which to capture a more abstract mood somewhere in between genres. When he wants to be seductive, he can, and when he wants to be outrageous, so it shall be, but he’ll never be too much of any single thing at any one time.
He will readily tell you about the spirits that guide him in composing his music, counting Moondog, Toumani Diabaté, Bernard Hermann and Keith Jarrett amongst many other sources of inspiration. From his home studio near Paris, he has spent many years slowly researching, nurturing ideas and collating together songs, recording every single piece by hand on his piano. By using various treatments from tape to wood to his own fingers on the strings, Ezechiel is exploring how much further an instrument as traditional as the piano can be taken in a continuation of the ‘prepared piano’ work undertaken by pioneers such as John Cage in the early 20th century.
Combining this learned appreciation of the academic heritage of music with a desire to explore new territory, it’s a minor miracle that Ezechiel comes out with heartfelt songs instead of chin-stroking studies. As is apparent in his work with Noze as well, he harbours a devilish flame that flickers for a raunchy tale sung with guts and passion.