Thursday, May 17, 2012

Des Esseintes : Les Diaboliques [2005]

Included are six fairly compact tracks in less than 40 minutes, ranging in length from five to eight minutes and covering a wide arrangement of dark ambient industrial compositions. From extremely sinister and sparse low-end rumbles and eerie hums to pulsing rhythms or machinated percussive beats, the material is extremely well orchestrated and has a wide spanning appeal that should reach a number of different fans. Now, when I use the word "orchestrated", I don't want to create images of any kind of martial nonsense or heavily musically oriented material, as that's not the case at all. However there is a lot going on here, and it has been well orchestrated in the sense that everything feels incredibly specific and thought out - intricately woven together with a clinical attention to detail, and almost cinematic on occasion.

There are some loosely musical elements at times, both in structure and melodically, with both "Discontinued" and "Proclamation" containing some female narration (Which is not in English, so perhaps the lines are borrowed from the stories?), but not to the degree that it should turn away listeners that are a little more rigid in what they deem "acceptable" from the experimental realm. There's also a nice and gritty midrange distortion in "Discontinued" with some pretty punishing percussive bursts and lots of atmospheric layering, while "Due" is a little more subdued until a distorted beat with plenty of panning breaks in against some twisted little dissonant melodies reverberating in the background. "Proclamation" falls more along the dark ambient lines, but still possesses a little something more to give it that extra edge, and "Closure" is somewhat similar at the start but eventually opens up into one of the most concrete and fluid beats to be found on the record.

The title track is definitely among the more ominous pieces herein, containing a few lightly distorted and indecipherable samples amidst resonant and brooding percussion that definitely insinuates a violent sort of visual accompaniment. "Requiem for My Green Fairy" is a little thicker and more ethereal than some of the other selections - still lightly rhythmic and in line with the other compositions, but certainly a little smoother and more consistent in the way it sprawls along. The bottom line is that the overall sensibilities of this work are tremendously professional and of an extremely high level of quality - one rarely attained in the grand scheme of experimental genres in my opinion - and especially from artists that tend to flirt with more structure and musicality, which are elements that I'm often critical of. When a release such as this masters those elements in a way that I can not only tolerate, but appreciate and even find to be among its strengths... that definitely speaks volumes.

This is certainly an album that works just as well in its individual parts as it does in its entirety, though it's handled in a way that really makes you want to listen to it all in one shot to experience the complete journey (which is especially interesting because I believe a few of these tracks are re-recordings of previously released material).

1 Discontinued 5:28
2 Due 5:27
3 Proclamation 7:46
4 Closure 5:33
5 Les Diaboliques 6:13
6 Requiem For My Green Fairy 6:01


Power Noise | Power Electronics | Martial Industrial | Dark Ambient | Industrial Ambient