Wonderful words by the ever erudite Adam Turner.
Parisienne label Lumiere Noire’s third compilation album came out at the start of February – twelve slices of deep and dark electronics. The unreleased tracks work both individually, and collectively, as a whole, comprising a set of music with its face turned away from the sun, the day, and toward the night.
Danse Alice’s Higher gets things going in an intense manner – a cracking collision of dark and light, an unlit basement and flickering strobe, perfectly illustrated by the long, throbbing intro, buzzing synth and whip crack snares. The tension palpable, building without ever really bursting for seven and a half minutes. Roe Deers’ Can’t Remember follows. It’s another trip into a heart of darkness, with disembodied voices and echo-laden bass offset by sonar sounds. A kick drum announces Viral, Justine Forever’s voice whispering sweet threats as oscillating synth lines weave their murky magic.
There’s no let up in this bittersweet dystopian disco. Rodion is all bleeps and crisp drums. Damien Vandesande’s Star Glide twinkles and shimmers, but the hissing happening underneath keeps it disorientating and menacing. C.A.R.’s Silk Pistol matches detached vocals with a minimal drum track and a pulsiating bottom end. ‘I’m the sweetest little thing’, Chloe Raunet says, sounding anything but.
Frontinn are in `80s Sci-Fi soundtrack territory, a pumped up Tangerine Dream vying with John Carpenter. The rave Hoover on Insurrection, courtesy of Il Est Vilaine, pushes things further still – a madly ascending melody climbing higher and higher, until that tension finally snaps. It soon builds back – as a thousand wasps and a sequenced bassline doing battle with a drill.
High Season’s Pavillion 606 fades in more gently but soon picks up, machine drums and percussion, and more witchy whispers whooshing in and out. Lost Boys, by Joseph Schiano di Lombi & Ian Tocor, is calmer, with an ambient aesthetic, long chords, and a slower pace – the music one might hear while being dragged ever closer to a collapsing star. Beautiful but filled with existential dread.
Virago by Simon Says is more dancefloor oriented – a kick, a hi hat and bouncing bass joined by New Order-esque keys and waves of distorted choral vocals. The closing track, Vega Voda’s Gradus Ad Parnassum, is different again – a multi-tracked French sing-song shoved up against a wall of cheery brightly coloured, synthesized backing. Ending the proceedings abruptly with the “plink plonk” of two piano notes.
You can order From Above Vol 3 directly from Lumiere Noire.
You can find more quality, on point, prose from Adam Turner over at his own brilliant blog, The Bagging Area.