Review Summary: ambitious, awkward, and melancholic
In an attempt to break free of his post-rock and shoegaze roots, Virée Nocturne
despite its faults, is a revitalizing effort in the Fursy/Les Discrets cannon. As stated on the group's bandcamp, this EP is a reinvention of the band, gleaning influence from acts outside of Les Discrets' usual musical spectrum while retaining the group's established air of melancholy and melodicism. Undeniably, they succeed; supplemented by trip-hop's solemn atmosphere, "Virée Nocturne" paints with Les Discrets' familiar gray palette, and the result is fantastic. It's brooding with pangs of shoegaze guitar and ethereal vocals protruding through the haze to compliment the down-tempo, processed percussion. The juxtaposition of elements blend together seamlessly, and the track is undoubtedly the strongest of the three here. The demo version of "Le Reproach" exudes potential with its fusion of styles, leaning more towards the band's traditional sound while incorporating a sleek electronic edge. It's gorgeous and forlorn, if not a bit too repetitive. The only track where Fursy's ambition works against him is the second song "Capricorni.Virginis.Corvi". The song lacks any cohesion, haphazardly slapping grating drum-rolls over bleak instrumentals with no purpose or progression. It's a disaster, and a clear demonstration of the risk in what Fursy is trying to accomplish.
Though the title-track (and its awesome ambient-esque remix courtesy of Dälek and Deadverse) may be the only thing on Virée Nocturne
that is exceptional, there is certainly enough happening throughout the EP to generate curiosity for the group's upcoming full-length Prédateurs
. As seen here, the potential for what that record could be is simultaneously exciting and worrisome. When properly handled the new elements greatly contribute to Les Discrets' melancholy-filled soundscapes; when mishandled, it's a veritable mess. Hopefully the new record is a better execution of this new direction, but only time will tell.