BRUIT ≤ ~ Apologie du temps perdu Vol. 1

Apologie du temps perdu (Apology for lost time) is an unannounced release from BRUIT, the follow-up to The machine is burning and now everyone knows it could happen again.  On that album, BRUIT ≤ was a post-rock band with touches of modern composition; on the new EP, they become a modern composition ensemble with touches of post-rock.

While the EP is best played straight through, it’s even better when played one and 1/3 times though.  This is the strength of the opening track, “la sargesse de nos aieux” (“the wisdom of our ancestors”).  There are no guitars or drums in this seven-minute orchestral piece; in fact, these instruments won’t reveal their splendor until halfway through the next piece, the midpoint of the EP.  But the elegance of “sargesse” makes it an equally strong closer.  The surge of strings in the second minute amplifies a feeling of pathos.  An ancestor speaks at the very end, his final utterance laughter: an encouraging coda.

What lost time is BRUIT ≤ apologizing for?  We doubt they are referring to their time away, as the band’s absence has been reasonable.  The most obvious interpretation relates to the pandemic: time lost from loved ones, from work, from life ~ the latter a recognition that many, given the gift of extra time, still managed to squander it.  What would the ancestors say, especially those who survived the influenza epidemic of 1918?  “Reveur Lucide” (“Lucid Dreamer”) – the beating heart of the EP – seeps from the opener, and grabs life by the horns.  At 4:21, the music pauses; at 4:22, the song becomes a dance track, replete with brass.  We’re making up for lost time now.

The ten-minute semi-title track, “Les temps perdu” (“Lost time”) toys with the concept of interlude in post-rock, saving its own expansion for a whopping seven minutes.  When the volume rises, the feeling is glorious, but brief; unless one allows the EP to repeat, adding a poignant comedown.  We suspect this is only a stopgap measure before Vol. 2 is released, when the clocks will tick again as they once did, back when we were young and had all the time in the world.  (Richard Allen)

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