Chimère FM / Versatile – By Cal Gibson

Super review by Cal Gibson, of The Secret Soul Society and Scruffy Soul Recordings.

Zut alors! Chimère FM is open for business and armed to the teeth with imagined soundtracks, off-kilter synths, and general low-fi honest-to-goodness musical exploration. I:Cube and John Cravache share a deranged sensibility, juking around in the wastelands, diving for sunken audio treasure. Its filmic, moody, melancholic: quintessentially Gallic, non? Mais oui….

Ten slices of gently sauteed queasiness and sleaziness, delivered straight-faced yet with more than a dash of jouissance, Chimere FM reeks of way too many hours cooped up in the studio coaxing odd noises from analogue machines. It’s a kind of madness, right? A retreat from the real into the sounds that you never knew you could conjure forth. A soothing balm for the terminally maladjusted. You’ll love it, trust me.

Allergie de l’adulte is instructive: dark synth waves hover ominously, cloudy chords sitting next to toybox chimes – a slowly rotting panorama, the sun sinking behind piles of forgotten dreams, childhood corrupted by adult sadness. Dark but funked-up, or should that be down?. Le Mans 2 is a real favourite: a classic clipped English racetrack announcer immediately summoning up scenes from yesterday’s telly, cars zipping around an imaginary circuit, synths blooping merrily away on top – a perfect introduction to a mixtape for sure. The title cut is all faded elegance and stately patterns: a lost station broadcasting to the dispossessed, Cormac McCarthy meets Tangerine Dream downtown. Random messages sent to bamboozle, the sound of a planet dragging itself into the void.

What Chimère FM offers up is a fully realised vision of an alternate world: a place for night people to spread their wings and jettison convention. It’s spooky, kooky, full of longing for something that’s always been out of reach, some imagined nirvana rendered useless by the ravages of modern capitalism. It’s a quietly devastating critique of overblown sound design and immaculate soundscapes – it’s grimy, twisted dancehall, and all the better for that. C’est magnifique!

Chimère FM will be released on April 8th, by Versatile. 

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