Review

Alan Lockett, e/i magazine, no. 3, June 1, 2004

If Ghislain Poirier’s debut, Il n’y pas de sud, turned heads, this second album will make them spin. Here a similar elemental landscape is revisited, with greater ambience and confidence. Dub plays around at the edges, not in its rhythms, more in its obsessive deployment of the textures and resonance of reverb-delay technologies. But technology is not foregrounded. At its deepest level, the music here is somehow primordial, almost devotional. There are shades of the ritual ethno-ambient of the likes of Jorge Reyes, updated for the post-electronica generation. Trails of languid melodies unravel, lightly fizzing around the edges with the distortions and microtones of effect transformations, attended by occasional subdued beats. The oneiric L’hiver neige sets the tone, pulsating brasslike drones and low-end kalimba gently warped with an effect halo quickly establishing the keynote trancelike state. After a slow motion drift through recontextualised Basic Channel/R&S sonics on Se reprendre, we embark on the central part of this collection-a series of pieces all inhabiting roughly the same sonic territory. Ti-a soliloquy of stretched out baliphone tones employing delay to explore the architectures of attack and decay-segues into Torpinouche - a cavernous resonance of phased pluckings insistently returning to a tonal center. And successive pieces employ a similar timbral template. The sounds of actual or simulated kalimbas and baliphones enact meditative instrumental incantations, teasing out a desertified hypnography which is not so much blissed out as sunstruck. Color-bleached, out of focus, this is a haunted, sometimes almost mournful, otherworldly music that somehow occasionally recalls, of all things, Seefeel’s dislocated gauzy guitar derangements (circa CH-Vox). Sous le manguier leaves the abiding impression of a suite of tone poems creating an imaginary soundtrack for certain exotic topographies of distant folk memory.

… a suite of tone poems creating an imaginary soundtrack for certain exotic topographies of distant folk memory.

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