Review Summary: Show us what it’s like to move in and out of dreams.Just Because
is a peculiar record title. Such a thing suggests a package containing ambivalence, indifference - or worse, apathy. Lucky for us, Martin Dupont’s debut album is none of those things and is frequently their contradiction. The group’s central themes, views, and perspectives are tough to describe without hearing their sound. Only then it becomes clear: this is a record that does not inform. Instead, it allows you to live the experiences presented by the soundscapes purely on your own accord.
From its very start, the title track ushers you into a vivid painting of sound - flowy, abstract, dreamlike. Synths and guitars swirl around you and vague shapes of sound that you think you’ve heard before (trains, alarms, signals, etc.) are distorted and used as brush strokes. The lyrics are equally esoteric, opting for the repeated phrase "I hear a love song in my head", which appears to the listener almost as an instruction. These strange noises you're hearing? Make them about love.
The track that follows and the rest of the album’s content opt for more abrasive and challenging active listening experiences: the soft beeps and boops become more pressing and more oppressive. This is one thing the album does extraordinarily well: encourage self-reflection and subscription to peculiar transcendentalism that even it does not seem to understand. For every track that comforts, another aims to destroy. And it is truly that
minimal - the sound aims to instill only a feeling above all else. Active feeling, rather than thinking, is required for full appreciation.
It is difficult to talk about this record without drawing attention to its fourth track, Take a Look
. Amongst its cheeky chugging snare and bouncy bassline, we see a miraculous precursor to modern trip-hop/trap music. It is undoubtedly a highlight on the record, and represents a high that, along with its title track, it largely fails to reach in its subsequent tracks.
It seems for every song Martin Dupont is able to instill with fabulous, mysterious, and evocative emotion there is another that completely fails to stir much of anything. Such an effort, however, is noble and fascinating. Taking elements of the emerging new wave genre, Martin Dupont is able to craft a uniquely French auditory canvas containing brilliant soundscapes that are strangely gothic, strangely melancholy, strangely angry, and strangely delicate.
THIS HAS BEEN MINIMAL WAVE MAY REVIEW #1! LOOK FORWARD TO THE NEXT ONE :-)
- Just Because
- Take a Look
- Under Nylon