The story of CARMINE started in September 1990 under the name of CANDLE. The band was originaly formed by Isabelle Andrès and Julien Retaillaud : Isabelle had already played in a few bands in Paris (but none of them very famous) and Julien was composing, alone in his small dorm room, until he eventually decided to look for other musicians with whom he could share his ideas about music.
For a whole year, CANDLE remained a simple "duo". Isabelle and Julien signed with LITHIUM, a French record company and recorded a mini-CD called "Beginning Blue" in November 1991. Described by the Melody Maker as "gloriously scratchy, blurred, stoned, hazy, disorienting, claustrophobic and enchanting", this EP attracted attention not only in France but also in England. It showed that, even influenced by Anglo-Saxon music (among which Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine to name two of them), a French groupe could still have a personal style, and be casually startling and surprising.
Just after the release of their "Beginning Blue" EP, Isabelle and Julien finally managed to find two other musicians who were able to understand and share their ideas and also to melt into the alchemy of CANDLE. Then, they prepared their first LP. Discovering that a Scottish band was already called CANDLE, they decided to change their name in CARMINE. In the meantime, they decided to create their own record company, KARINA SQUARE, and released their first album "Visual" under their label in May 1993. With this LP, CARMINE intended to express their own sensitivity and feelings in their music ; they have accomplished it with this very personal 12 titles album. These songs, "fleeding and fascinating as drops of quick silver" according to a journalist, are conceived as the expression of interior images, whence the album title. The ambiance of Visual has been describedby the French press as "bewitching and disturbing", "quiet and oppressive", on the verge of a waking dream.
Then, April 1994 sees the release of the "A larger Sea" EP, that comes from a collaboration between KARINA Square and the Spanish record label Acuarela. On this record, CARMINE still uses the guitars as a basis for bitter-sweet melodies and disonance experimentation but now the introverted guitar strum is brightened by flute and violin filigree and interwined fragile female and sullen male voices.
With their new LP, "Lumielle", released in May 1995, CARMINE have been streching farther the scale of their inspiration : the male and female voices answered to each other indifferently in French, English or German, the bass guitar is suddenly overpowered by a piano or a cello, the melodica or the vibraphone try to challenge the guitars... Bitter-sweet melancoly arises from time to time as Isabelle, Julien and Théo move from a soft-out of time song like "Tenebrae" to the iced violence of "So beautiful" or the sweetness of the violin on "Le sommeil", with only one creed to inspire them : emotion and sensitivity.