Chateau Marmont’s French synths light up Richmond District

Chateau-MarmontPhotos by Mike Frash // Written by Kevin Quandt //

As funky, synthed-out disco poured onto an increasingly desolate Clement Street, passers-by could only stop and gaze quizzically up to the second floor of the newest venue in the City, Neck of the Woods. Should we go in to check it out? What is this catchy cacophony blasting through the Inner Richmond? Well, those brave enough to venture into this rarely-visited part of town were rewarded with masterful playing and serious grooves. Chateau Marmont put on a blistering live show that featured both their tremendous original songs and some improvised dance jams that got the sparse crowd moving.


Ronald Kaufman, who performs under the name Kauf, is a name you are likely to see more of as 2013 comes to a close. This one-man show captivated the fans who could be described as “in the know”, as Kauf’s superb production coupled with live vocals generated something totally genuine. Tracks like “Relocate”, off his latest EP release titled As Much Again, displayed the artist’s knack for building loops while tastefully manipulating his delicate vocals. With a handful of dates opening for Cut Copy on Kauf’s upcoming schedule, it’s a very good likelihood that more exposure is sure to gain the attention this solo act deserves.

A few more bodies trickled in to see these underrated Frenchmen tackle a set heavy with new tunes from their newest release, The Maze. For an act that hasn’t been touring much in the past year, Chateau Marmont came out firing on all cylinders. Synthesizers, modulators and keyboards flanked the sides of the stage as the rhythm section held court in the middle, a setup that lent very well to their ‘jam’ style dance sections sandwiched between tracks. Banner songs like “Wind Blows” display a preternatural understanding of electrified pop-music, similar to the sound that aided to Miike Snow’s success years ago. For all intensive reasons, Chateau Marmont are on their way up the ladder to larger audiences, and the group showed their potential to receive international radio air-play.


One aspect that was difficult to overlook, while the band was deep in groove, was both the use of non-traditional synth frequencies while simultaneously using said instruments to create leads that were akin to that of a lead guitar. This combination made it seem as though this act could very easily be a crossover act, enjoyed by fans of live-tronica jambands like Lotus, Particle or the New Deal. Expect to see a fair amount of stage time from these guys as they ramp things up behind the new release, so catch ‘em while they are still relatively unknown.








  1. Thanks for the review guys. I will keep my eyes out for chateau and I will have to check out Neck of the Woods sometime.

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