Horla ~ Orogenèse

cover_lecabanon002The Le Cabanon label is relatively new to the business, having opened shop last year with Bruma’s Architect Method.  This year’s release is a dark slice of industrial beats and breaks, including a short story in the physical edition (not screened for review).  This is Horla (Guy De Maupassant)’s first physical release as well, and it deserves to be played loudly in an ill-lit room.

Releases of this nature belong in the folds of fall, as they imply power and darkness.  The beats are aggressive; the bass stretches like the shadow of a swiftly-dying day.  Odd movements take place in the nooks and crannies: tendrils of synth, sullen crackles, hyperactive pops.  The form may be electro-industrial, but the texture borders on drone.  This adds up to an exciting, yet all-too-brief set.  Four tracks fly past in only twenty-two minutes; the EP could have been much longer, but it’s better to be brief and effective than long and overblown.

The artist’s definition of the title is “the geodynamic processes of a mountain’s formation – when the sedimentary part of the ground folds under the pressure of lithospheric, converging tectonic plates.”  One can hear such pressures and shifts in the music, reminiscent at times of nu skool breaks, a briefly popular style of music around the turn of the century.  As the Tectonic label was at the forefront of such music, the association may be intentional.  The difference is that this isn’t quite dance music.  Sections of songs would work well on dance floors, but the tempos are often too slow, or the beatless breaks too long, for such attempts to work.  Instead, these are compact evocations of mood.

Each track holds a unique appeal.  “Instrūmentum” is the slow, steady introduction, a sharpening of knives in a dark corridor.  “Drummachine Supersansplomb” is the head-nodding “hit”, ending in a squelch.  The title track is the deep bass growler, and “Mountain Top” is the test tube churner.  Let’s hope there’s more where these came from ~ this is a fine start for the French artist.  (Richard Allen)

Available here

One comment

  1. Pingback: ACL 2014: The Year’s Best Album Covers | a closer listen

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