Music Reviews

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Artist: Heal
Title: Espace d’incertitude
Format: LP
Label: Sound On Probation
Laurent Perrier has stepped away from his laptop synthesis and towards modular systems for this album of two halves, with each half focussed on a particular synth or brand of synths.

The first half is “the Buchla side”. Analogue loops, patterns and arpeggios cycle around, with gradual knob twiddling gradually tweaking the sound, sometimes purer and bleepier, at other times grimier with hints of acid bass. And that’s the whole of the first half- no extra layers, no pads, no percussion, just the self-driving bleepy synth patterns that unfold and evolve in nine relatively succinct packages, each around 4 minutes long. There’s not a whole lot to distinguish between these first five pieces, but to get a flavour, try opener “Post pesto”.

The second half, “the Mutable side”, switches to synthetic pads, with repeating solo chord patterns that keep your focus single-handedly for minutes on end, resulting in a more chilled-out affair. Slight key flourishes on “Hysterese” are quaint details that add depth to a mostly stripped-back affair, although “Poids d’evidence” builds to quite a swell of sound. Final track “Stridule” feels like the culmination of the whole affair, with shorter bleep patterns and pads finally blending into the one longest and more melodic arrangement which, despite still only being a couple of layers, ends up sounding practically symphonic compared to the sparseness that has preceded it.

It’s as much a synth showcase and a demo of what can be achieved with careful twiddling as it is a fully realised album, more like two short EP’s with the same concept and different synths stitched together, but nevertheless it’s a good example of what compelling sounds and patterns can be created from a very minimal brief.



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