Gimmick Productions 2023

A Secret World

Drifting out of obscurity, French welcomes those who remember his voyages to plein-air to a trip into natural wonders.

Between 1995 and 2000, this Parisian composer sculpted a stunning display of exquisite sonic paintings – the aural analogs of landscapes and stained glass – and then Monsieur Broguière seemed to disappear from public radar. Not that personal issues stopped him – Patrick’s creative streak carried on with the publishing of two books and training to become a magician – so, fortunately, the "Chateaux de la Loire" album turned out not to be his last ever release. Inspired by the garden vistas, the Gallic master is back with “A Secret World” where his magnificent tunes are deceptively toned down, even though their Renaissance grandeur, a thread running through the artist’s entire discography, is retained and, more so, preserved for everyone to savor.

Still, springing onto the listener with the vigorous organ waves of the titular epic, this platter will strut rather than stroll through the series of elegant pieces which may be solemn yet don’t choose an elegiac path between cosmic synthesizers that weave their way between piano, strings and accordion – all emerging from Patrick’s electric ivories to invite operatic voice and elevate the experience to the riffs-ruffled hymnal heights. So when the somewhat frivolous “The Blue Unicorn” arrives, throbbing with bass and hinting at techno rave, there’s a welcome grounding of celestial reveries linked by a few brief acoustic numbers, and “King Arthur’s March” takes the jovial jive further, to the guitar-spiked baroque beauty, before “In The Corridor” introduces infectious Europop to the Middle Ages’ splendor. However, while “21st Century Dancing Man” adds a retrifuturistic layer to such a temporal mélange – via vibrant percussive veneer and the same female vocals, programmed and called to the surface, “The Magical Path” offers reflective, brass-splashed glory to those refusing to accept vain languor, and the otherwise playful “In My Dreams” streams a cello-augmented strum towards oratorio-aromatized eternity.

And then, there’s the bolero of “Faust And Mephisto” to transform the album’s finale from idyll into drama and outline Patrick Broguière tentative promise to serve up new delights – simultaneously magical and musical. This work was worth the wait.


August 5, 2023

Category(s): Reviews
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