Loto Retina – Fiction

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[ Orange Milk Records, 2017 ]

More crystalline internet musique concrete from the always boundary-bending label Orange Milk. Fiction is an ADHD infested mirror hall was constructed by the French glitch conoisseur Loto Retina. The album is yet another pristine labirynth of MIDI deconstructions, momentary microgenre outbursts and snippets of wordless vocals mixed with self governing rhythm patterns. With generative titles like “Canal Xylo Sat1” and “Tension Chrono” it reminds one of the cheerful randomness of Autechre, but Fiction is far more abstract than that: it’s more like a music making software using deep learning via neural networks to create electronic music. The effect is eerie, yet aesthetically pleasant. Sounds from the other side. Recommended!


Les Halles – Transient

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[ Not Not Fun, 2016 ]

Les Halles is the place where the eternal lo-fi New Age fantasies get realized. A place torn out of this world and time, and suspended somewhere above, existing in the clouds, somewhere between time and space. Transient is a document of the journey of conjured lands, existing between tape experiments and hazy analog synth ambience that loops forever, reminding the listener of the tropical sounscapes of Monopoly Child Star Searchers. The slowed-down, druggy pan flutes remain as a staple of Les Halles, this time becoming less prominent between drawn-out ambient experiments. Music to chill to after the turbulent election. I swear, this is the last political post on Weed Temple.


Aluk Todolo – Voix

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[ The Ajna Offensive / Norma Evangelium Diaboli, 2016 ]

Black Krautrock. That’s a phrase that’s getting thrown a lot whenever the French trio Aluk Todolo is mentioned. Though they prefer to call their style “occult rock”, the krautrock and black metal influences are still obviously the most visible and tangible in all of the band’s work to date, including their newest release, Voix. The newest album continues the tangled, densely psychedelic stylings of 2012’s Occult Rock, spiralling the listener down toward the insanely paced malevolent hell. With its cover clearly a homage to Aleister Crowley’s Konx Om Pax, the album is sure to pull the listener into an unholy marriage of psychedelic rock and black metal, fusing thick walls of distortion and guitar effects with cold aesthetics and insanely tight drum work that often goes straight into blast-beats. Another blackened masterpiece from Aluk Todolo. Highly recommended!


Domenique Dumont – Comme Ça

The fresh breeze comes from the Balearic quirkiness of Domenique Dumont, a mysterious entity behind Comme Ça, a summery album full of lovely beats created on some rudimentary equipment, yet being a perfect choice for a garden party during the heatwave. Combining the energy of Ibiza beats, the psychedelic grace of chillwave, repetitive, hypnotic beats, this album becomes one of the most interesting leftfield electronic curios of 2015. Incredibly lush, yet simple and refreshing, an immersive journey to the heart of the beat. Highly recommended!


Turzi – C

Laconically titled “C” by the Versailles based multi-instrumentalist Romain Turzi is the conclusion of the conceptual series of albums, the previous being A (2007) and B (2009). Recorded in his Parisian studio, Turzi unveils a weedy, Technicolor-tinged cinematic psychedelia in the vein of Tara King th. or Halasan Bazar leaning somewhat into the more bombast, sci-fi mood of the early progressive rock symphonies with great vintage-styled female operatic vocals – that means more synths and less baroque, a revision of a dream of the French people conquering the space. When it comes to this kind of psychedelia, France is indeed la planeté sauvageRecommended!


Les Halles – Invisible Cities

Named after the 1972 book by Italo CalvinoInvisible Cities by the French musician, head of the Carpi Records label and graphic designer Baptiste Les Halles brings back the best of the woozy, lo-fi New Age ambience somewhere between Werner Herzog film soundtracks and the narcoleptic soundscapes of Dolphins Into the Future. Gentle flute (or synth? but who cares actually?) melodies shimmer among the tape hiss, emerging and disintegrating in the washes of early Popol Vuh-like bliss. It’s one of those timeless albums, which could be released at almost anytime and still sound just as mysterious and dislocated as ever. Recommended!


Acid Fountain -Fauna Diction

Whoa, is that floating pumice on the cover? It better be, because if it is, that’s a great visual metaphor of what’s going on behind those glossy pixels in the artwork. The music here, released on the up and coming electronic label Hyle Tapes, makes you feel almost light as air and still leave a rough, DIY edge to it. Following the rich legacy of French house scene, Acid Fountain takes a dive into steady dancefloor beats, neon synth washes and minimalist, subtle structures reminiscent of the more modern purveyors of the mutant house craze such as Octo Octa. It thumps and beats, it goes deep, and it goes smooth. Total zone-out. Recommended!