Band Review: Rue Oberkampf

Rue Oberkampf is a coldwave, minimal, EBM German band formed in 2016. It is composed of three members who share the same interest for analog gear: Julia de Jouy, Damien and Michael. You may wonder where this band name comes from. In fact, the name of the band, the nickname of the singer (Julia de Jouy) and the name of their first album (Christophe-Philippe, 2019, Young and Cold Records) is inspired by Christophe-Philippe Oberkampf, a French industrialist of German origin. He is famous for having founded the royal printed canvas factory in Jouy-en-Josas, where the toile de Jouy was made.

Rue Oberkampf offers an enveloping coldwave/EBM, with marked and jerky rhythms. Each track starts from a basic structure and they build on it to add an intricate layout. There is an escalation in the song construction, which moves from one level to another, while giving us the right amount of time to feel comfortable before introducing us to the next step of the song. Depending on the track, Julia de Jouy sings in French or in German. This changeover from a language to another creates a variation and distinct tones between each track. The experience of the three members as DJ definitely influenced their work. Indeed, we can feel this desire to make people dance and move on their music. They all work together on the creation of tracks by bringing their own touch. Just as with music, special attention is paid to the visual identity. It is sober and minimal, as we can see it in the many clips they released since 2016.

Listening to Rue Oberkampf may remind you of Miss Kittin on tracks such as Sourires, where lyrics are almost spoken. We can also think of the French electroclash band Sexy Sushi with a track like Deine Worte with its percussive electro and the way lyrics are asserted or Zanias, because of the floating voice of Julia de Jouy and the cold electro on the track Kalt.

Rue Oberkampf is playing on an underexploited field. They succeed into mixing captivating rhythms, analog and digital instruments, EBM, French and German lyrics, coldwave and minimalism. An unusual mix that works wonders.

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