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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Lyonel Bauchet The Secret Society (2011)

Updated: Jul 7, 2023

“This album guarantees you 60 minutes of pure magic with such a diversity that we must satiate our desire to explore it several times”

1 Introductory March to the Secret Society 6:26 2 Lifeworld 9:22 3 Ocean Spleen 4:19 4 Pavane K4816 7:02 5 So Much for Subtlety 3:51 6 Each Will Have His Personal Rocket 13:19 7 Dawn 4:23 8 Blissfully Ours 4:56 9 Thank You and Good Night 7:50 DiN DLL 11 (DDL 61:46) (V.F.)

(Modular Synth Music)

Lyonel Bauchet's THE SECRET SOCIETY respects the precepts of the contemporary EM label DiN; a dark and experimental music which tergiversates between stagnant rhythms and dark ambiences on tenebrous and experimental structures. Rhythms more implosive than explosive with such eclectic reminiscences as Tangerine Dream and Autechre, with a zest Spyra and Pete Namlook. That's what this first album of the synthesist from France is made of. Far from being a newcomer to the syncretic universe of contemporary EM, Lyonel Bauchet has extensive experience in music, having composed more than 2000 themes and patterns for television, cinema and radio. But he had not produced any album so far. And it's to Ian Boddy that we owe this gem that is THE SECRET SOCIETY. It was by taming the complex and huge Buchla 200e modular synthesizer that Bauchet was noticed by Boddy. He posted clips on the Internet while explaining the process of his learning when the founder of DiN noticed and invited him to make his first album. A first opus that suggests interesting future prospects, as much for us as for Lyonel Bauchet.

A metallic veil pierces the silence. A fine pulsation emerges, initiating the first steps of THE SECRET SOCIETY. Woven into an intriguing and mysterious approach, where the indefinite rhythm beats on arrhythmic pulsations and felted percussions, Introductory March to the Secret Society progresses in a suspended atmosphere. Tones of bells, as much Tibetan than abyssal, chthonian chorus, a gloomy haze and winding sinister reverberations adorn the soundscapes of this title that constantly hesitate between its moods and torments. A premise that will follow throughout the album. More animated, Lifeworld advances in a nebulous atmosphere, although its rhythmic structure is more insidious and hybrid. A dark and slow structure that progresses from a veiled step with frenzied pulsations/percussions pulsating and galloping on a circular rhythm with a polymorphic nucleus. This rhythm continually increases its strength with a tangent enriched by tribal percussions, and glides towards a dark techno à la Juno Reactor to shake of a disjointed gait, initiated by a panoply of tribal and metallic percussions. In another register, Ocean Spleen is a dark ambient track with heavy waves of enveloping synths, while Pavane K4816 proposes a slightly livelier structure. An experimental and lugubrious electronic ballad that evolves slowly on an ascending structure sprinkled by dark breaths, ominous buzzing and a mist of which the mephistophelic veil envelops the lost chords and riffs from keyboards and/or electric piano. So Much for Subtlety is beautiful and catchy with its clear arpeggios that tinkle and float slowly over a jerky circular structure. For a short title Lyonel Bauchet puts everything in it with this fragmented melody in a dark electronic universe and strongly animated by percussions that hammer a stroboscopic structure where the composite rhythms sink the hammer of our eardrums.

Dark and constantly in subtle evolution, Each Will Have His Personal Rocket is a slow procession of an ambiguous and hesitant rhythm. The intro is gloomy, even black, and progresses with pulsations that constantly accentuate their rhythmic duels under glaucous breaths, black winds ululating like sirens and a bass line with roaring chords. Halfway through, the drums get a grip onto this slow rhythmic procession. The tempo then growths with rolls of electronic drums and a more spasmodic rhythm that awkwardly gesticulates under the dark and icy synthesized winds. Another catchy title, but for totally different reasons, Dawn is jewel that will certainly please the fans of Tangerine Dream and those sequences rolling like marbles in the Hyperborea and Poland albums. Superb, they roll and follow a good oscillatory curve under soft synth breaths, bringing us to memories of a beautiful era of Tangerine Dream. A very good title that precedes the no less tasty Blissfully Bear which is as catchy and inviting to move than So Much for Subtlety, except that the structure is curt and jerky. Another catchy title that we never get tire of listening, Thank You and Good Night closes this album with a flexible tempo of which curves and elastic loops cling to iridescent buzzes and very good percussion. Drums that mold a haunting rhythmic canvas and whose clear and resonant blows announce rhythmic modulations. Penetrating, the synth launches beautiful layers as much ethereal as than enveloping, randomly crossing riffs and frenzied, breaths. We cannot hope for an album that is almost at the antipodes of rhythms, ambiences and melodies.

I quite enjoyed this first opus Lyonel Bauchet. Drifting among many influences and genres, THE SECRET SOCIETY is a breath of fresh air of a universe that is never at the end of its resources. Available in downloadable format on DiN site, this album guarantees you 60 minutes of pure magic with such a diversity that we must satiate our desire to explore it several times ...

Sylvain Lupari (October 26th, 2011) *****

Available at DiN Bandcamp

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