Cleopatra 2017



Expunging the evil, French experimentalist finds a guiding light on the crest of a wave.

Le Seul Élément would like to keep a freak flag flying but, compromising the individuality of their name to get involved in various projects, it comes to the fore here, on the anonymous artist’s third album. This time, the “noise wave” definition is wide off the mark, as there’s a shimmer, rather than discordance, on display, although their quietness is quite deceptive.

While the soundscapes of “C. Abyssal” chimes with solemnity, letting a sparse peal and spectral chorale measure the album’s vibrant space, they become a cage – a comfortable one, with no claustrophobia in sight – on “The Exorcist”-evoking title track… which has “e” at the end, because “démone” means “demoness” for those gender-minded nefarious spirits. Given such continuum, a second “e” in the first word of “Mersey Mad Beat” is as optional as the piece’s almost-absent rhythm that’s being progressively sculpted into soulless clang, yet “Her Eyes” is where male and female vocals expose the depth of record’s human psyche. 

The repetitively rippling piano of “Rien N’est Beau Comme On L’imagine” might produce a rather pessimistic experience, but “Run” unexpectedly reveals a folk tune in its tapestry to offer a way out. After that, the 10-minute stroll through “Soho” doesn’t seem gloomy at all, with the lights up, showing the demons can be beautiful creatures. Unsettling shouldn’t mean scary.



July 28, 2017

Category(s): Reviews
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