Posts Tagged ‘Amute’

Humpty Dumpty Records – 11th May 2018

Christopher Nosnibor

It’s quite the introduction: ‘Jérôme Deuson is an unstable musician’ is the opening sentence of the press release that accompanies his seventh album as aMute. But how many musicians are stable? And what even is stability? Is anyone entirely stable? Is it even a desirable state? So often, creativity emerges from a state of inner turmoil, or tempestuous emotional flux. There are, of course, infinite shades: this is just to peel back some of the layers of the initial and likely awkward response to the statement.

Some Rest is not the millpond calm the title may imply: it’s only some rest, not total rest, and in truth, the rest here is minimal, on an album that’s clearly the work of a restless soul.

The album’s structure and sequence is unusual, opening with the longest composition by far: the title track is almost eighteen minutes long, and transitions from a delicate swirl of strings through a vast, shoegazey post-rock vista to an expansive, driving rock workout. While there are strains of feedback amidst the humming melodic drifts and samples which echo, almost buried in the mix, and the whole thing builds to a sustained crescendo, it’s still a more sedate experience than its predecessor, the tempestuous 2016 album Bending Time in Waves.

Side two begins with the gloopy, bubbling ambience of ‘I’ve Seen it All’ before sliding into eerie dissonance on ‘Dead Cold’, which exploits ringing chimes which give way to softer, picked guitar and a more tranquil, melodic space, disturbed only be the vocal, processed and burred with distortion. It’s sort of melancholic, sort of trippy, sort of dislocated, sort of abstract, sort of shoegazey in a trilling organ swamped in echo sort of way. It’s all amplified into a fizzing digital funnel on ‘The Obsedian’, which features Christian Bailleau, emerging as a grand, slow-moving and mournful piece reminiscent in some respects of Dylan Carlson’s more recent work, exploring as it does the pitch, tone, and timbre of the guitar in near-granular detail. Closer ‘Maria’, with hints of early Pink Floyd, is similarly drifty, dreamy, trippy, echoey-warped, and it tapers away into vaporous clouds.

Because of its ever-shifting nature, and its sonic range, Some Rest provides only the briefest of respites for the listener to relax, creating as it does an atmosphere of flux and continual movement.

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Humpty Dumpty Records – HMPTY030 – 5th February 2016

James Wells

Sometimes, there is simply no substitute for volume. Marking something of a change of direction from his previous Amute albums, Jérome Deuson has embraced something that could be considered more of a ‘rock’ aesthetic in cranking everything up to 11. But this isn’t a question of indulgence. It’s about the transformative nature of volume. It’s the volume of the sounds which determine the way the notes and tones interact on the pieces on Bending Time in Waves. The dominant instrument is guitar, bathed in reverb and pushed to the max to forge vast cathedrals of sound. You might loosely call it shoegaze, or slacker indie, or simply ‘alternative’, as we did back in the 90s. And there’s very much a 90s feel to Bending Time in Waves, an album capable of the same kind of temporal discoordination as induced by My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless.

Beneath the tumults of guitar, there are some pounding drums, but like everything else, they’re partially obscured, semi-submerged amidst a tidal wave of treble, a screed of overloading sound that fizzes and crackles and fuzzes. Winsome slacker introspections played delicately and ponderously are transformed by the ear-splitting volume, crackles, and pops of cracking transistors and hisses of feedback. Soft swathes of soaring strings cascade in and out again on tsunamis of reverb-soaked guitar. Quiet moments of reflection, hushed and sincere swell outwards exponentially, threatening to obliterate Deuson’s fragile psyche.

It’s disorientating, bewildering, overwhelming. But there are some nice songs to be discovered, underneath it all.

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