Born in a Barcelona, still reeling from Franco`s dictatorship, one yet to be reborn in the boom of the 1992 Olympics, Idee du Femelle`s Sequences is a slab of sonic treasure salvaged from the city’s avant, underground scenes – excavated from an archive of experimental art documented largely by independently dubbed cassettes. The music on offer is generally dark, yet redemptive in tone. Clearly influenced by the industrial movement, rumbling, clanking and crashing, metallic but tribal, and at the same time swimming in swirling new age melodies – rising and falling, the clanging and colliding effectively your guide through their meditative maze. These sometimes cinematic symphonic swells, recalling say John Carpenter`s Starman score – check The Sea In Winter, where machines sing, almost human – or the epic fanfare of a Vangelis soundtrack. I Fill Anxiety, despite its title, is full of reassuring romantic, soft focus synth work – a Blade Runner love theme for a future dystopia conquered by the heart. Ominous choral harmonies, and orchestral strings add to its obsidian ambience, but these are woven together with traditional elements, Tibetan bowl ringing, and lapping, lullaby-like, loops. Playful percussive patterns that brighten the subterranean drone and hum. These hand drum rituals rippling alongside field-recorded fresh water streams, as sampled seabirds segue with sine wave doppelgängers. While the stories they tell build to storm-like structures, calming kosmische key clusters ultimately clear any menacing clouds.
Gentler moments, such as Java, are in debt to Jon Hassell, and generate otherworldly, alien amazon atmospherics from short pan-pipe breaths and gamelan gongs. The sparse, spare, bent guitar notes of Sheng – wallowing in each others echo – summon the unhurried shade of Eno & Lanois` Deep Blue Day. The hardware reduced, confined, to a spiraling background buzz.
The album`s arc describes a definite journey. The opening Come Back To Bali, with its resonating reed, prayer-like vocals, has a daybreak / dawning vibe, while the closing composition conversely conjures a shoreline at dusk. Collectively it`s the sound of tides turning, the sun setting, a surrender to night and the moon`s pull.
Idee du Femelle`s Sequences is available to order – for the first time on vinyl – directly from Musica Maquina – a new collaboration between Domestica Records and Hivern Discs.