Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch / Ravage / 130701

Plaintive piano plays over distressed electronic drones – refugees from a dystopian sci-fi score. Their treated vibrations serving as voices, intertwined in a complex relationship. Combatants in often heated conversations. Whipping up wordless synthesized storms of raw emotion, as the music’s auteur attempts to articulate, accept, loss and grief.

Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch describes her new album, Ravage, as a “mourning diary”, composed in the wake of her father’s sudden passing. Emilie also states that past interaction with her departed parent could be fraught, forcing her now to address many unsettled issues alone. This process reflected in her art. The title track has light, rapid upper register keys, a pitter-patter resembling rain, countered by big bass notes, the roll of approaching thunder. Effectively a duet, it unfolds like an argument, eventually ending in resolution, or resignation. When later presented as a Solo Piano Edit, it feels far calmer, happier, the listener hearing just one side of the story. 

In contrast, the solo piano version of Katabasis – a reference to the Greek word for “retreat” – carries a more melancholy air, than its “full” counterpart, which bustles with organic energy, a fogged, animal, hum. It`s somehow sadder without this noise. Its frisson. 

Fata Morgana takes its name from the famous mirage – where thermals create castles in the air, forever out of reach – and opens to the howl of whistling winds. Summoning images of a horizon blackened by a swarm of locusts. Busy with the blurred, menacing, beat of a million insect wings, before finding a stillness, an apparent serenity, in its final third. The Universe Within You is a building buzz of fuzzed, psychedelic organ tones. 

There are moments of overwhelming warmth, such as Tendrils, and those which are thoughtful, pensive and patient – for example Ephemeris. Epilogue features the toll of a far way bell. The album closes with Parting Gift, a stressed sonic sculpture, a symphonic ambient atmosphere. Blowing, bellowing, beautiful but broken, as if Eno`s Ascent were entering a failing orbit, bending, burning, distorting, disintegrating, as it falls to Earth. 

Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch`s Ravage will be released on May 27th, care of 130701.


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