Review

Thierry Lemmers, Earlabs, November 11, 2009

Less is more. This proverb certainly qualifies for La nuit nous déconstruit par cœur, Olivier Girouard’s debut release on Ekumen. As far as electro-acoustic compositions go, Girouard’s music is much more alike to the organic ramblings of compatriots like Andrey Kiritchenko or the improvised ambient of Tape than the grand, neo-classical ambient pieces of Max Richter for example.

So what does this album actually have to offer? The leaflet that accompanied this album to my home is a little vague in that respect. It mentions Girouard sharing a bond with a metaphysical kind of musical poetry and all that is good about culture. Although this statement sounds a little too pompous to be taken seriously, Girouard’s debut record does exhibit a poetic quality in a fidgety sort of way. He takes great care to keep his music dreamy and subtly dynamic by fiddling and rummaging with guitar and piano, some found sounds and little touches of glitchy electronics.

And it all meshes well together. Girouard changes rhythm often enough to keep me from slumbering away at the more timid passages with solo guitar, piano or simply some crackling noises in the background. He shows a deft hand to keep these softer moments in the record interesting.

With this in mind, it’s hard to imagine that this is a record created for a choreographer. Although there is plenty of movement, it is still movement pared down to a minimum which also accounts for the lack of tension on the album. The flow of the album is a little too turgid to really tickle my imagination.

Nonetheless, I feel that Girouard managed to create a piece of music that often enthralls me with its devious simplicity. He does a lot with minimal means and he does it with a great deal charm and meticulous care. And precisely that goes a long way with me.

… Girouard managed to create a piece of music that often enthralls me with its devious simplicity

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