Review Summary: airy, organic drone that doesn’t require a user’s manual
Admittedly, I was not at all familiar with the existence of Je Suis Le Petit Chevalier before An Age Of Wonder
. Luckily, I quickly found that background knowledge isn’t a prerequisite for appreciating what I was surprised to find to be one of the most complete, satisfying releases of 2012. There’s a heavy, organic feel to the LP. It can’t be a mistake that the second track and stunning highlight “The First Forest” is titled so, because Je Suis’s record is a living, breathing, organism with a rich sense of character. This is most present in the way the duo of tracks wax and wane between obscured fuzz and standard drone, wailing winds and minimalism. No obvious touchstones come to mind when comparing An Age of Wonder
to drone peers, and there’s nothing particularly outstanding on the LP besides its exquisite execution.
“Fever Dunes” is rather bland compared to the more inspired ups and downs of “The First Forest,” but it serves as a perfect template on which Je Suis then craft their more emotive second track. There are a few inspirations for An Age Of Wonder
(the band cites the Amish community, Belgium, and Ohio countryside); but besides the obvious bucolic, earthy tones, the album is one that’s perfect for self-exploration, an almost-blank slate-- another reason that lack of experience akin to my aforementioned lack thereof shouldn’t scare away newcomers. An Age Of Wonder
expands beautifully on many of the drone tropes, but never bludgeons them to death, instead lightly grazing them in search of something more significant. And considering the masterpiece of “The First Forest” alone, it’s hard to discredit Je Suis of this achievement.