CDR | RSR013


120 copies made with silkscreened artwork.



Radar Swarm Records

guitars and vintage keyboards drones

01. Shruti
02. Jil
03. Gefe Vrita
04. Illuminations
05. Melodic Fairies
06. Arch
07. March
08. Swan
09. Fumes
10. Antrag

Recorded at Waldeck rousseau & Roy de Clotte
Mixed and masterised at Roy de Clotte by Lacustre

Foxy Digitalis (Note : 7/10)

This French duo conjure up some dark, beautiful drones and work out their fascination with low end frequencies and barely-there melodies throughout this ten-track album, though their explorations rarely feel monotonous. The tracks are relatively short affairs (especially for drone) which introduce a theme or idea, explore it and move on to the next, achieving a drone record that is somewhat more digestible and multidimensional than others. But to be sure, this is far from casual, Sunday morning background music.

Album opener "Shruti" is all low-end rumble, throbbing bass tones that shift from left to right, while some mid-register tones howl like an arctic wind. Around the two-minute mark the low-end tapers off, giving way to delicate guitar melodies and some analog clicks coated in thick, though tasteful, reverb and delay. So lovely. This could go on for fifteen minutes without getting boring, but Altair Temple stop after four. Such brevity illustrates the confidence these two have in their craft and strength of the tones throughout this album. Indeed, the longest track here is 7:22 most drone artists have barely gotten going by seven minutes, but each track covers a lot of ground in the average three-to-four minute track time.

The atmosphere on this album is decidedly dark, heavy and almost glacial. The lone guitar drone of "Melodic Fairies" slowly unfurls while subtle, shimmers of light pierce through the frozen dark for an instant before the low tones shift again. The sequential tracks "Arch" and "March" are among the heaviest, most monolithic here in terms of sonics. The synth work on "Arch" is omnipresent and tense while the E-bowed guitar of "March" treads the icy waters of Kranky-era Growing guitar buzz. But again, the key to these tracks is depth and diversity: what at first feels like a head-clearing buzzy guitar workout gives way to layered synths that almost bring to mind Tim Hecker without feeling forced. It would be interesting to know how exactly these tracks were assembled, whether they are the product of astute editing, or if this duo are able to create such diverse, dynamic tracks live on the floor. Either way, I'll take more.

(Curran Faris - 04/18/2011)