Odalie returns to TELESKOP with her second EP, Derrière l’Écran (Behind the Screen). The set’s title references the multi-media nature of the work, which includes visualizations by Alma Alta, and even a tote bag for those who are interested. Once the screen is pulled back, we discover that the artist’s real name is Sophie Griffon, and that the moniker refers to her work with Alma Alta and cellist Paolo Rezze.
As befits the EP’s title, a blend of emotive strings and enticing electronics yields a highly cinematic tone. As the music lands precisely on the dotted line, it would be easy to place in either category. The video for lead single “Les Hybres” (the etymology implying hybrids) begins with stylized rain streaks, which make their way to the cover art as well. It doesn’t take long ~ 53 scant seconds ~ for plucked cello strings to welcome tapping electronics, while the rain quickens and the hidden profiles gradually glisten into view. Soon Rezze begins using the bow while Griffon wraps the strings in cushioned layers. The brief ambient midpoint changes tone and scene, only to morph again at the five-minute mark, now nearly techno. The rain becomes a downpour, blotting out the screen, or one might argue, becoming the screen, or a secondary screen in front of the body that itself acts as a canvas.
“Manières d’être vivant (Ways to be alive)” also begins lightly, this time as tiny droplets twinkling in a sun shower. The timbre implies a gentle early awakening. Active percussion arrives like the day’s first cup of coffee, dancing the day into being. The strings continue to stretch, the caffeine not yet kicking in. These soft tensions continue throughout the EP: sleep and alertness, symphony and club, tugging the listener in two directions at once, yet pleasantly, the choice between two positives. Home listeners are missing only the unifying piece: the three-dimensional experience, as hinted in the trailer below. This is exactly the sort of immersion that people have been missing over the last year; the EP, and (we are hoping) the tour dates are arriving just in time. How the attendees will react is hard to predict: leaning forward, dancing, or gaping in awe? With an act so diverse, all reactions are acceptable. (Richard Allen)