(Fou)

These words on Spie(l)gelungen might sound fairly pointless for many readers, with the exception of those conversant with the history of the analog synthesizer. Only they, in fact, will be able to better articulate coherent concepts about a record built on the coupling of two AKS Synthi. We speak of the first synth that, in the early 70s, fused portability with a timbral diversity arising from sophisticated circuits. I’m not going to discuss here how Pink Floyd’s “On The Run” was born, not really. But this one-hour journey proposed by Thomas Lehn and Jean-Marc Foussat (who adds his voice, plus some traces of animal realism) surely offers a rather comprehensive sample of the opportunities provided by these devices.

The music, constructed on the fleeting instant, is inevitably volatile, ductile, chaotic. It can completely fill the reproductive environment, occupying every inch of it with cumbersome ramifications. It can also offer bits and pieces of arrhythmic formulation, or moments when one can literally sense the echoey sighing of a mind desperately craving peace in the midst of asphyxiating thoughts and burdensome worries. The “human” side of the matter is in the hands of Foussat, who uses vocalization quite extensively, almost invariably through a delay. What he emits is not always aesthetically appropriate for yours truly, yet the point of such choices remains understandable regardless.

Obviously, the primary concern — if you can keep from being thrown from the saddle of this wild horse — is the extemporaneous parsing of a multifarious syntax containing myriad components. The resulting complex forms of acoustic vitality demand to be respected at all times. There’s transparency and vagueness, vibrant steadiness and caustic absurdity. We know all or nothing; we soon forget what was heard. Still, we learn much from what comes next – whether distorted or crystal clear. We are sometimes irked by something not complying with our expectations. But those entities were trying to shut us up in order to deliver meaningful messages.

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