Friday, July 28, 2006

Julien Neto - Le Fumeur De Ciel

Julien Neto
Le Fumeur De Ciel
Type Records

Right off the bat, less than ten albums into this blog, another album via Type Records shows up. It's with good reason. They happen to be putting out some fantastic stuff. Most of it skews to the minimalist aesthetic, and more electronic than not, though a few of their releases stray from this style–Sickoakes have more of a Explosions in the Sky or Godspeed! You Black Emperor feel, while Goldmund (see the previous Helios entry) is Keith Kenniff's somber, piano-driven project.

Julien Neto fits comfortably into their line-up. Le Fumeur De Ciel, which roughly translated means "the smoker of sky" or "the sky smoker" (don't hold me to that, my french isn't so hot), is a dark, often brooding electronic soundtrack. The album, awash in synths and strings, creates a dark, almost foreboding mood. It's perfect late-night listening. Most is ambient, and there's virtually no percussion to be found, except for "VI," where the aforementioned Kenniff lends a hand. The beat on "VI" sounds like something you might hear on a Blockhead or Four Tet album, and is a welcome addition as it gives the album a different flavor. It's a tune you could throw on at a cocktail party and virtually guarantee a few "hey, who is this?" queries thrown your way. A link to Type's mp3 preview of this song is included at the bottom.

Other standouts on Le Fumeur include the opener, fittingly title "I(One)," which right off the bat prepares you for what you can expect the rest of the way. Ominous synths set the mood, while blips and beeps push in and out creating a frenetic, percussive beat. Towards the end of the album is the track "III", which every time I hear it, I could swear I'm listening to one of the four William Basinski The Disentegration Loops albums.

Yes, another ambient, textured, no-lyric album gets mentioned here. As time goes on, you'll see that's not all I listen to. I just did a write up on The Futureheads and that's about as far from ambient as you can get. So don't fret. All in due time. However, and again, if you're into this kind of stuff, Le Fumeur De Ciel is worth picking up.

Check it out if you like: Max Richter, Loscil
Listen to a sample here: VI (featuring Keith Kenniff)

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