Album: The Call
Release Date: 03/09/2012
The scent of summer remains and the air is still warm with sunshine. But the two Lyon based brothers behind this latest, spellbinding LP from France’s most beguiling dance imprint don’t care, judging by the overwhelming darkness inherent in the release.
A product of almost two years hard labour, Damien and Matthieu Spitzer’s pop and punk backgrounds are almost immediately evident on their debut album, or at least by track two, Madigan. Building from bass guitars to brushed snare rhythms, shades of prog rock deities Can are audible, somewhere behind twanged six string chords, and brooding vocal chants- it’s electronica, but not really as most recognise it.
As such, when Clunker kicks in the sounds offered up are logical. Angsty male lyricism, relentless baritones and strained, frayed melodies, aided by Parisian band Fab of Frustration, ensure you could almost be forgiven for thinking it’s a product of Britain during the late-1970s. And it’s far from a cheap imitation of that era’s luminaries.
Fundamentally though this is an electronic album. Opener Marsch moves from sombre pianos to stormy, stripped and driving techno; one for fans of Ellen Allien’s moodier moments. Later, Breaking The Wave applies dubby, melodic overtones, and subtle synth refrains to the blueprint. Meanwhile, title number The Call offers huge keys, along with enough timbre and build to suggest members of the old progressive guard still worth their weight in atmospherics will show interest.
A typical InFine release of contrasting neo-techno then, there’s more familiarity for label fans to relish in as Kid A- the show stealing guest vocalist from bossman Agoria’s 2011 album, Impermanence- makes another appearance. Needless to say, Too hard To Breathe is a downbeat rumbler suited to her otherworldly, high pitched but gentile delivery. It’s also possibly the best thing on here, though only because of its inherent beauty (vaguely comparable to a melancholic All Is Full Of Love), rather than disappointment with the four fours. Altogether engaging, this record is destined for the essential shopping list.