Minuit Machine
Infrarouge


4.0
excellent

Review

by Voivod STAFF
March 7th, 2020 | 13 replies


Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An electrowave soundtrack to the personal tribulation.

Initial impressions from first encounters, repetitive experiences stemming from perennial relationships, orderly output of people under the spotlight, yet far from the physical reach of most people; the common denominator is that at least one thing or two can always be established or misplaced about one’s interlocutors, partners, preferred public persons. And then, there’s the element of surprise in the aftermath of (troubling, for the most part) events analyzed in hindsight, that can easily catch one off guard regarding the whereabouts of people he/she cares about. Examples are as many as the hordes of human folk that walked this earth, but two individuals past the limit of anonymity, emerged to mind while sponging the dismal lyrical content in Minuit Machine’s third album Infrarouge.

First, the late chef Antony Bourdain whose fervent and inspiring life as a professional and activist, hardly bodes with the way he chose to leave this world behind; second, Italian native Roberto Saviano; his life’s work in mapping the strings pulled by organized crime in his country and abroad, has amounted to an unfathomable toll on his normal life likelihood, and yet he is still met with disbelief, as some allege that the actors Saviano exposed, have spared his life due to some arcane motive. Contrary to infrared radiation which has no boundaries in deciphering the universe invisible to the human eye, the human ability to reckon early on with the cracks of the human psyche, and mend them with as much empathy as possible, has a long way to go.

Speaking of cracks of the human psyche, Infrarouge is a lyrical last supper of individuals in intra/inter-personal tribulation. Social alienation and the inevitable resentment that ensues, stalemates relevant to romantic affairs, the elaborations of fleeing a previous state of sin, the struggle for social self-determination and acceptance following gender transition, the achievement of obliviousness in a post-apocalyptic setting through controlled substance consumption, the discomfort of being manipulated like a puppet on a string, the impossibility of trying to live a lifetime each and every day (Paradise Lost pun intended); it took a single album for the French duo to abstractly document the entire spectrum of human discontent. Having shed her native French accent, hardly a small feat for francophones irrespective of genre, vocalist Amandine Stioui breathes the lyrics more expressively with respect to the debut album. Concurrently, her cadence carries along the apparent indifference in enunciation that’s expected of goth/electrowave.

The above said, it could still be argued that overall, Stioui’s singing is not fundamentally different with respect to Violent Rains; musically however, Infrarouge is a different affair. While its predecessor was warmly cloaked within its traditional ‘80s goth/electrowave mantle, the new album goes out naked in the cold, seamlessly blending elements that were tested and true in electrowave/goth/industrial during the last 40 years. For starters, Hélène de Thoury’s backdrop synth walls in tracks like "Chaos" and "DRGS" and throughout the whole album, have an effect that hints at the dystopic echo of the Blade Runner soundtracks. Her beats stray from the electrowave norm for the most part, as they are no different from what someone would call "mainstream dance music".

That’s a point that could alienate the fundamentalist electrowave crowd, but appearances are more than kept as de Thoury adorns the tracks with sublime electrowave/goth/industrial enclaves, either of rhythm section or synth descent, that unfold in parallel. In that light, the array of influences that made Infrarouge, depend the listener’s musical experiences. The author of this review sensed soundtracks like Oldboy ("Forgive Me For My Sins"), Depeche Mode ("Sacrifice"), Oxygene-era Jean-Michel Jarre ("Fear of Missing Out"), the abstract nature of early Ulver; the list could go on and thrive in terms of subjectivity and apples-to-oranges-comparison, but such is the nature of Infrarouge, a crux where different sounds are summoned to form a homogeneous whole. Given the traditional approach of Minuit Machine’s previous album, it’s hard to imagine such a leap in any given setting, but then such is the utility of artists like Minuit Machine, to look forward and startle their audience by navigating the sea of possibilities that lies ahead.



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user ratings (8)
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Voivod
Staff Reviewer
March 7th 2020


9776 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Album stream:

http://minuitmachine.bandcamp.com/album/infrarouge







Constructive criticism is most welcome.

Pikazilla
March 7th 2020


24559 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Listened to a couple tracks and this shit's great. Always know I can rely on you for some ace recs, man!



Oh, and nice review too!

AxeToFall93
March 7th 2020


312 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Pretty good record und nice review too!



Definitely give "Violent Rains" a listen too, one of the best records in this genre.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
March 7th 2020


9776 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

^^First album is great indeed, as far as traditional electrowave goes, but imho, Infrarouge is superior, because it has a lot more going on simultaneously.

BallsToTheWall
March 8th 2020


50898 Comments


Great band and sweet review dude.

parksungjoon
March 8th 2020


45111 Comments


yea its swee

mindpos

Pikazilla
March 8th 2020


24559 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

So so good

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
March 9th 2020


28933 Comments


"recommended by reviewer:

Soundtrack Blade Runner OST"

SAY NO MORE

parksungjoon
March 12th 2020


45111 Comments


electrowave

TVC15
April 9th 2021


11225 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm convinced I will 5 anything that makes me feel like I'm in Drive or Hotline Miami

r00dris
May 22nd 2022


4 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is their third album, not their sophomore. Just this correction.

r00dris
May 22nd 2022


4 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Live & Destroy is a studio album, but here it's listed as a Live album. Perhaps the title misled the one who added it.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
May 22nd 2022


9776 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Thanks for the heads up, everything is fixed, and yeah the album title misled me haha



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