Sunday, May 25, 2014

REVIEW-L'AVENIR-S/T-CASSETTE

L'AVENIR-S/T-CASSETTE
BELATEN RECORDS
COLD WAVE/MINIMAL SYNTH AMBIENT
COMES ON A CLEAR CASSETTE IN A 
PLASTIC CASE WITH INSERT AND DIGITAL 
DOWNLOAD CODE.
L'AVENIR IS:
JASON SLOAN



SIDE A.)

I.) ARAL SEA:
The first track here is an instrumental composed of
ascending synth notes that climb to the heavens and
then plunge headfirst like a falcon spiraling towards
the earth.Lower notes rise and fall under this as well
but are much deeper and more subtle.Drums repeat
in mid-paced rythm...Relying heavily on high-hats to
push them along.Flowing synth leads expand and gently
blanket the horizon like the sun setting behind a vast
oceanic view.This is really relaxing and soothing music.
The chosen tones and textures have a very 1980's sound
to them.Another beautiful and obscure minimal wave
project to add to the list of great acts in the genre.
The best part of track one is it gives you an idea of where
the rest of the album is going without spoiling the surprises
that await.Deep synths and fading rythms end the piece as
the snow begins to fall.

II.) FALLEN LIKE THE SNOW II:
Minimal drum machine rythms mix and mingle as synths
slowly begin to crawl to the surface.There is a very Goth-like
vibe here.Dark and thought provoking.Deep, melancholic 
vocals are present.These are very similar to the stuff that 
came out of the dark electronic underground in the 90's.
Artists like DO OR DIE or AND ONE...But with vocals that
sound like a man in mourning rather than someone concerned
about a night out at the club.The synths here sound much more
dangerous and uninviting as well.This does not sound like it was
intended for a fun night out but rather a night alone in solitude
and reflection.For something more minimal oriented this specific
track has a great number of layers going on at all times.They flow
like cold winds stirring your fears and inviting them to come into
the light.Vocally this has more in common with traditional 90's
gothic rock than what most people would think of when they hear
the words Goth and Electronic put together.Huge gusts of freezing
wind sweep the song into silence and prepare the way for the next
journey.

III.) FUGUE:
Synths rush fourth in immensity as rythms that make me recal early
NEW ORDER begin.The vocals are somber and sound full of loss and
regret.This is really beautiful stuff with a sad but catchy chorus.At times
the vocals remind me of a more depressed DEAD CAN DANCE or maybe
even THE SISTERS OF MERCY in a strange way.Minimal drum rythms dance
like flakes of falling snow in a slow waltz downwards as haunting synth leads
fill the air.Slight touches of reverb are applied to great effect.It never feels like
there is too much or too little going on at once.L'AVENIR dwells in a realm of
perfect balance...But by the tone in his voice it is obvious that he dwells there
alone and deep in thought.

IV.) AN EMPTY DAY:
This is a type of music that takes a lot of emotion to make.
Though it may sound cold and inhuman at times...There is
something there beneath the surface that still manages to
be heard.L'AVENIR may reveal this more than many others
in the genre but he still seems to be in control.Deep electronic
rythms and slow drums with hard hitting snares open the last
track on the A side.This is similar to artists like LUST FOR YOUTH
and BLACK MARBLE.Everything sounds like it was created on analog
machines...Synths you'd find covered in dust and cobwebs in the back
of a pawn shop.So far this is the most depressing track on the album.
Total downer music for long nights alone in your room.Clicking sounds
like those of communicating insects fill the silent night air.Cold leads 
come through like icy fingers stretching toward the light but finding
no warmth.There is an overwhelming sense that any and all happiness
is just beyond your reach.So close you can taste it...And that taste is
bitter and cruel.


SIDE B.)

V.) WASH:
Mid-pased drums and deep toned synths lay beneath a gentle
layer of icy leads carefully played on fragile keys.Dark rythms
that you can move your head to fill the track along with some
pretty neat drum work.Yes the drums are programmed but that
does not mean that they were not thought out and programmed
well.As the lyrics ask an unknown source to "Wash us clean" it
really does feel like you are being washed or baptized by the
waves of haunting synth work that flow over you.This is the 
type of music that sends shivers down the spine and makes
the hairs on your arms stand up straight in admiration of the
beauty it presents.Truly stunning.Majestic and fragile like the
leaves in the fall as they dance to their deaths.

VI.) EYES AND WORDS:
If I had to pick a "single" for this album this would be it.
Brittle percussions run in a race to the finish and are joined
by strange layers of synths that do the same.Weird buzzing
and moaning electronics begin and die out as deep rythms
begin on bass keys.This track is pretty damn catchy too but
not in a poppy or happy sort of way...More like a song of grief
that sinks it's claws into you and forces you to remember the
pain it brings.Lines like "Dead, cold and broken" and "All alone
to die in an empty bed" sum up this album better than a thousand 
words ever could.This could have just as easily been called "Ice and
Words" as this is a very cold Darkwave track.If someone were to ask
me what Darkwave/Coldwave/Minimalwave or anything similar to
that sounded like this would be my go to.

VII.) FALLOUT:
Imagine if all your favorite New Wave bands from the 80's
were morbidly obsessed with JOY DIVISION or BAUHAUS
and didn't give a shit about making top of the charts.Now
imagine that one of the band members decided he was a
little to misanthropic to be in a full band and decided to
create such a thing by himself...This is sort of what L'AVENIR
sounds like.Haunting vocals that have lost all hope.Minimal
beats and synths soaked in nihilism and despair and smothered
in the agony of tormenting memories.Fucking awesome right?
In the last few years there have been quite a few projects popping
up and attempting this style but few do it as good as L'AVENIR.
Unless the closing track is total shit then we have a flawless album
here folks...And to top it off it's a fucking cassette!!! Which with this
style of music it just would'nt feel right if it wasn't.

VIII.) THE DARKEST STAR:
Cold and menacing synths played on highs and lows band
together to form this short but fitting outro to the track.
Pure dread for a little over a minute...I know it's over but
if you wanna hear it again then get off your ass and flip the
tape.Then you can go back to feeling sorry for yourself as
you sit there soaking up this dark and beautiful ride through
depression and woe.

BEST DARKWAVE/COLDWAVE ALBUM OF WE HAVE HEARD
THIS YEAR.THIS IS GOING TO BE A DIFFICULT ONE FOR ANY
OF L'AVENIR'S CONTEMPORARIES TO TOP.GOOD LUCK:

10/10
-ABATTOIR-

WWW.BELATEN.SE
WWW.L-AVENIR.US

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