LYONEL BAUCHET: The Secret Society (2011)
“This album guarantees you 60 minutes of pure magic with all the happiness of discovering music full of surprises and favorites”
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
(DDL 61:46) (V.F.)
(Experimental Ambient, Psybient)
THE SECRET SOCIETY from Lyonel Bauchet respects the precepts of contemporary EM label DiN; either a dark and experimental music which hesitates between stagnant rhythms and atmospheres which are just as stagnant on dark structures and at times quite experimental. The rhythms are more implosive than explosive with reminiscences as diverse as Tangerine Dream and Autechre through Spyra and Pete Namlook. This is what this first opus from the synthesist from France is made of. Far from being a newcomer in the beautiful world of contemporary EM, Lyonel Bauchet has extensive musical experience, having composed more than 2000 pieces of music for television, cinema and radio. But he had not yet produced any album and it's to Ian Boddy that we owe this little gem that is THE SECRET SOCIETY. It was by taming the complex and huge modular Buchla 200e synthesizer that Bauchet caught the attention of Ian Boddy. He was posting music videos on Internet and explaining the process of his learning when the founder of DiN noticed him and invited him to make his first album. This first album is therefore published by DiN's little brother, DiNDLL in downloadable format only. The album gives a glimpse of interesting future prospects, as much for us as for Lyonel Bauchet, with sound textures which nevertheless require an openness since nothing is easy in the universe of DiNDDL.
A metallic veil pierces the silence. A fine pulse emerges, initiating the first beginnings of the album. Woven in 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 ambience. Both Tibetan and abyssal tinkles, chthonic choirs, a lugubrious mist and sinuous threatening reverberations adorn its decor which constantly swings between its ambiences and its torments. A vision and a way of doing things that will survive throughout this album. More animated, Lifeworld evolves in a nebulous ambience, although its rhythmic structure is more insidious, with a dark and slow approach progressing from an atypical way veiled by frenzied pulsations/percussions which throb and gallop on a circular rhythm with a polymorphic core. A rhythm which continuously increases its strength with a tangent vitaminized by tribal percussions to slide towards a dark techno à la Juno Reactor and to tremble with a disjointed approach initiated by a panoply of tribal and metallic percussions. Ocean Spleen is a dark ambient track weighed down by heavy waves from enveloping synths, while Pavane K4816 offers a slightly more lively structure. It's a kind of gloomy experimental electronic ballad which slowly evolves on its ascending structure decorated with dark breaths, sinister buzzes and a mephistophelic haze that envelops chords and synth riffs that seem lost in this avant-gardist setting. So Much for Subtlety is stunning and ear-catching with crystal-clear arpeggios that tinkle and slowly float over a jerky circular structure. For a short title, Lyonel Bauchet has put the package there with a fragmented melody in a dark eclectic universe strongly animated by good percussions which hammer a stroboscopic structure.
Dark and ever-changing Each Will Have His Personal Rocket is a slow procession of an ambiguous and hesitant rhythm. Its intro is obscure, even dark, and progresses with pulsations which constantly accentuate a rhythmic duel under murky breaths as well as black winds ululating like mermaids and a bass line with roaring chords. Percussions are linked to this slow rhythmic procession in mid-course. The tempo then progresses with rolling electronic beats and a more spasmodic rhythm which clumsily gesticulates under the dark and icy synth winds. Another catchy track, but for totally different reasons, Dawn is a little gem that is sure to appeal to fans of Tangerine Dream and their rolling balls on the Hyperborea and Poland albums. Superb, these sequences stamp and roll nervously to follow a very good oscillatory curve under suave synth breaths. Memories of a good time fill our ears on this very good track, one of the most accessible of this album, which precedes the no less tasty Blissfully Ours and its structure just as catchy and inviting to stomp your foot than that of So Much for Subtlety, except that it's more abrupt and choppy. Another good catchy track, Thank You and Good Night closes THE SECRET SOCIETY with a fluid rhythm whose curves and elastic loops catch on iridescent buzzes as well as superb percussions. Percussions which sculpt a bewitching rhythmic pattern with clear and resonant hits which announce good rhythmic modulations. Penetrating, the synth launches good layers as ethereal as they are enveloping, randomly crossing riffs and lost breaths. It's a very good conclusion for an album which is often the antipodes of its rhythms, its influences and its melodies.
In conclusion, I loved this first opus by Lyonel Bauchet. Navigating on several influences and several rhythmic approaches, THE SECRET SOCIETY touches on all spheres and possibilities of styles that EM and synthesizers can influence. And spread over 60 minutes, we must admit that the diversity is such that we must satisfy our desire to explore over several listenings and even more. Available in downloadable format on DiN website, this album guarantees you 60 minutes of pure magic with all the happiness of discovering music full of surprises and favorites.
Sylvain Lupari (November 26th, 2011) *****
Available at DiN Bandcamp