Wilson Trouvé’s last album, Angels and Demons, was a big success around these parts, so it’s exciting to see how he’s stepped up his game in 2013. The French artist’s two new albums, released on Fluttery Records and Time Released Sound, have been designed to operate as two halves of a whole, and they compliment one another exceedingly well. Enlighten Yourself While You Sleep might be considered Monochromie‘s post-rock/drone album, while Colors in the Dark might be considered his ambient/modern composition album, but the former is not too harsh and the latter is not too light. The membrane is thin and porous; each album reaches to the other with the intention of breaking through. By the very end, their hands finally meet, fingertip to fingertip, a short stretch from a clasp.
Enlighten Yourself While You Sleep is dominated by crackle and reverberated guitar, but other sounds swim happily in the mix: glockenspiel emerges as early as the first track, while electronic bells wait until the second. These bright tones are like synapses firing while the body rests, a subliminal teaching tape playing in the background. An ambient album lies in the sediment as these elements swim above; listen carefully, and you’ll find it. By “Birds Never Die”, the crackle has grown into a drone: thick, dark, immersive. As Trouvé’s piano plays, the stark beauty of the ivories is intentionally obscured. “Day and Night of a Scarecrow” develops a drum beat midway, leading to a coalescence of drones. Will the clouds ever lift? “Insomnia” suggests they will, as a looped choir levitates above the fray.
By Colors in the Dark, the sun has begun to shine. The organ tones of opening track “Brightness” form a direct connection to the choral tones of “Insomnia”. The crackle has begun to recede like a weakening wave. The guitar is still present, but subdued; unlike its predecessor, Colors is clearly an ambient work. Over the course of the album, the the piano grows increasingly more prominent. By the tender “Childhood”, it has become the focus. If Enlighten is the approaching storm, Colors is the aftermath. The interlude of “Whales” embraces field recordings: a bicycle bell, a pinwheel. Happy children have come out to play. Quieter and quieter the pieces go, until the end descends to sleep. Light static and sampled choir lead us back to the dark side of the sun. (Richard Allen)
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