As Fargue, Samuel Vaney of Cortez and Eeli Helin of Fawn Limbs, Mireplaner, and other projects, are now premiering their skyscraping new ambient post-rock EP, called Phosphène. Get a first listen below! It’s huge and subtly intense.
The first track, called “Au travers de la lumière, l’ombre n’est que poussière,” begins with a softly tapped out percussion melody proceeding right alongside drawn out, ambiance-setting tones that end up running through the whole track. There’s a gentle substance to the tones; the sounds aren’t overly piercing, and they’re not overly beastly, but they’re more than strong enough to feel like a real physical encounter with the soundscapes that the band have crafted. The follow-up song, called “L’exorcisme,” gets significantly stronger; both sides, including the more natural percussion rhythms and the less overtly natural, swirling ambient synths get a bit faster. Harshness appears towards the conclusion of this track in the form of a steadily growing wave of static-textured tones interrupting the ambiance/percussion interplay, but the whole newly thickened mixture continues its roll forward with the gently unsettling yet richly captivating persistence of ominous thunderstorm clouds getting closer on a horizon.
Track three turns more intense drama, with deeper, more swinging tones, and while track four resorts to a broader, more drawn out structure once again, a simmering emotional intensity of performance shines only more brightly.
More than a particular morbidity, the music feels like it’s soundtracking a contemplative encounter with a great beyond. Track after track might as well be playing while encountering some display that defies logical explanation — like the simultaneously beautiful but deeply unsettling scenes in the 2018 Natalie Portman movie Annihilation, which features repeated reorganizations of DNA across species lines, like a human-turned-fungus growing across a wall, with elements of both organisms visible. There’s a stillness-driven peace available in stepping outside of even the grandest tradition — some of those in Annihilation seem to accept their transformation — and Fargue aptly sonically capture the captivating intrigue as their soft yet richly engaging melodies step slowly along.