MONOCHROMIE – Angels & Demons.
Released September 3rd on Fluttery Records.
Sensual cycles and small cascades.
There is a famous statement by French writer Andre Breton: “It all leads one to believe that a certain place exists in the mind where life and death, real and imaginary, past and future, the expressible and inexpressible, high and low cease to be perceived contradictorily”
‘Monochromie – Angels and Demons’ isn’t a work of surrealism, but it does take you on a vacation to somewhere close.
I had a great friend, Simon Carroll, a potter, who loved how glazes would often rivulet if applied too liberally. It was a wonder and a treasure for him. It was a small but beautiful part of the whole process of his expression. There was a predictable chaos to it – the glaze would river downwards, yes, but in a way that was always unique, depending on texture, surface and shape. It could hijack other substances, mix, change colour, even appear to disappear.
I find that ‘Angels and Demons’ brings the same kind of pleasure for me.
The music here, though set in a structured framework of notes, chords, loops, sometimes beats, creates the impression of space, light, freedom and life. Though I recognise the form, I am unsure of what is coming next and that makes for a really good listen.
This music wasn’t created in a vacuum though. Certain tracks are recognisable as 21st Century songs – ‘Erosion’ has a languorous, chill-out, trip-hop beat, with melodic keyboard movements as well as synth drones. It has echoes of Massive Attack, Cocteau Twins, Eno. I’ve seen it categorized as ‘Dance’, which I find a bit of a stretch. If you can dance to this, you need to check your pulse and establish that you are still conscious.
‘#1’ and ‘Antennas’ also remind me of David Bowie’s instrumental sides on ‘Heroes’ and ‘Low’ and Brian Eno’s ‘Before And After Science’.
‘Gorace Zarzewie’ has vocals on the surface, which, I’m presuming, are spoken Polish. (The title translates as ‘Hot Embers’ in Google Polish.) I like hearing lyrics I don’t understand, as they don’t direct my mind to follow a particular path or interfere with my drifting. The woman’s voice is beautiful and the whole thing is lovely.
Throughout this album, there is subversion at work beneath the piano and light. It isn’t a darkness or violence, but the droning, fizzing synths introduce the idea of change, transience and uncertainty. Rather than unsettle, they give breadth to the sound and the experience.
All the thirteen tracks are vastly enjoyable, offering trips through different landscapes and planes, allowing the listener to interpret, explore and create. The keyboards and pianos spike, cascade and flow in sensual little cycles. Though nowhere near the sparseness of Philip Glass or Erik Satie, there is a lot of room here, some nice quiet spaces.
The composer of this album is Wilson Trouve – French multi-media artist.
Of his visual work, he has said:
“…to accentuate certain contradictions and dualities…blur reference points and certainties, scramble interpretations and planes, give consistency to transparency and render the void opaque, induce doubt vital to the perception of what is given to see.”
I think some of his words could be applied to this album.
In one of my circles of hell, Bono emotes politically over stadium rock chords to a 4/4 drum beat. In my version of heaven, Monochromie is playing.
Words: Copyright © 2012 William Henry Prince.
All images are: Copyright © Wilson Trouve. Used by permission. Please ask owner before reproducing.
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