Music for Invisible People is the title of Melodium’s second full-length album for Autres Directions in Music. The 13 track album is filled with his brand of quirky acoustically based electronic music that can be heard on previous releases such as Parthenay EP from 2003 (which is also the very first ADIM release), La Tête Qui Flotte from 2005 and Hum Hum & Bla Bla released the same year. The biggest difference would be the vocals, that have now been incorporated into each and every song. The sincerity cannot be missed and the end-result is ultimately a question of personal taste. Autre Directions in Music continues to safeguard their uniqueness and it is a good thing that Melodium does the same. Another chapter to the evolving story about individual sounding productions has just been added.
This follow up to Atone’s EP “Un Jour” is cleverly named “Un An” and it seems especially fitting because his second release is a full-length album. (The clever part would consist in that “Jour” means Day and “An” means Year.) These releases were made by the influential French label Autres Directions In Music – Adim. Un “An” contains 12 tracks of original compositions starting of with “Introduction” which is exactly that it leads on to the excellent “Une longue nuit” that builds and builds with much effect and quite a lot of drama all held together by a steady, slightly dirty beat. The call sign for Atone and maybe even for Adim would be the accordion/harmonica or in any event accordion/harmonica-like sounds. They enter in full force in the third track “Accordéon”. This album is maybe not the most readily accessible, but it’s highly original and at times just brilliant! And exemplifying this would be the build-up, sounds, atmosphere and rhythms of the track named “Cordes”. Adding yet another original release to Adim’s catalogue.
Depth Affect’s latest contribution to Adim is their full-length album entitled “Arche-Lymb” released not so long ago (FEB 2006). Their previous contributions include the “Mesquin EP”, a track included on the massive 30 artists “The Noise & The City” compilation and various remixes. I guess that their original statement about their music is still a valid one: “…our way of proceeding isn’t original it simply consists in exploring the different aspects of electronic hop hop music”. Arche-Lymb also features some non-sampled vocals by Alias (Anticon) and Cyne (City Centre Offices) reinforcing the overall hip hop theme. You get 13 down-tempo leftfield hip hop tracks of the highest quality including a video – all courtesy of Depth Affect and Adim (Autres Directions In Music).
“Itinérances” is the title of a recently released EP (OCT 2005) on the French label Autres Directions in Music (Adim). The EP is a sound collage of sorts and contains six tracks all in all or maybe better put constructions. They’re acoustically based and at times fragile pieces of music made by the artist put together with different people encountered while travelling. With little or no detectable structure these constructions of sound all have some kind of cinematic quality to them. Continuing the sound exploration Tony adds another chapter to Adim’s story.
One of Adim’s rising stars strikes again, this time around his œuvre is somewhat cryptically entitled “Hum Hum & Bla Bla” and proudly carrying catalogue number Moulin014. The EP consists of eight songs all branded with the Melodium insignia. Starting off with “Untitled 1″ a gentle melody acting as intro to the rest of the EP, this melody is then carried onto the next song “Hellomusic (Ochre remix)” and expands as the as lovely as massive string arrangements and gentle acoustic guitar are fused with 1+1 step beats. This is great stuff. “Untitled 2″ features feather light beats, the trademark acoustic guitar and strings drifting into heavily distorted light beats. “Gamm-recomposé (Audioroom remix)” a piano and ultra distorted beats fused with mechanical machine sound sampling creates irresistible rhythms and contrast that are simply breathtaking. “Untitled 3″, repetition can be beautiful as is the case in this piano based piece. “Untitled 4″ again brilliant melodies from Melodium and manipulation by an artist by the name of Audioroom. This track displays some rather interesting arrangements involving the sound of crickets and clever reversed sound engineering – the end-result being a very unique sounding delight. “Untitled 5″ which is quirky and disjointed in that unmistakably Melodium way and finally “La fin de tout (Marsen Jules remix)” with layers of acoustic guitars framing this eight and last track. The Marsen Jules remix is a fitting end to “Hum Hum & Bla Bla” an excellent piece of contemporary electronic music. Made by Melodium, interpreted by Ochre, Audioroom and Marsen Jules and released by Autres Directions in Music.
After the to say the least immense 30 cities/30 artists compilation release from last year (2004) comes the playful “Where Does Dust Come From EP”. Be it that the tongue-in-cheek factor is a bit high for my personal liking this release strengthens the Adim label’s identity. Lightly processed acoustic guitar and handclap forms the outlines of “Don’t forget to be late” all set in a lo-fi surrounding. “Lounge” focuses on cut-ups leaving the acoustic feeling behind and is residing in an alternate up-tempo hip-hop mode. “Rubrix Groove” follows along the same lines of thought and is groovy in its own way. “Wicked Lounge” is a technofied and cut-up version of the cut-up based “Lounge”, a remix? “Crooked Grind Variation” based on ultra classic samples it’s probably just that. The remaining “Some Hot Lazy Day” and “Den Saknade Gitarren” (Hey, what’s this all about, a cryptic title in Swedish? The title translates to: The Missing Guitar) end the EP in the same quirky way it started. It’s nice to see that the Adim label and associated artists still are ignoring the icebergs.
The Noise & The City” is a compilation consisting of: 30 artists, 30 cities, 30 tracks, 30 pieces of artwork and 30 texts. The latest project/release from Adim is an ambitious one to say the least. And as they them selves point out the idea of using environmental sounds, as a base for creating music is not an entirely new one, but that does by no means mean that it is an uninteresting one. And as the level of urbanisation increases it is a highly relevant one at that. The diversity of the tracks is amazing, but then again there are 30 of them so the opposite would have been both surprising and disappointing. With a range of tracks this wide and with the different artists very different approaches and interpretations of the given task it is close to impossible to make a fair account of this release. There are however, in a sense two types of tracks on this release: traditional songs and sound collages, well traditionally on a project like this I suppose that the latter ones would actually be the traditional ones, enough said on this topic. The point being that I will not and cannot give an account on all the participating tracks. The ones that really catches my attention are: London’s Stendec and their superb track “Office to Studio, 15 min walk” which probably is not only the track that I like best on the entire compilation, but also most likely the best track they’ve ever done! Lucky Adim! Literally jetting to the other side of the world we find an extraordinary beautiful track by Sydney’s Robokoneko entitled “Brume”. Returning back to Europe and Manchester’s The Remote Viewer contribution is an excellent and minimal e-dub track. Brussels’ aMute offers clever use of vocals in “”Cyclic Brussels Give Up”, Evanston’s Pan America gives you the pulsating dubby “Outside” or Paris’ Sogar and the fragile glass like “Bau2″. It is also highly recommended to visit Adim’s digital home and view the artwork and read the text that accompanies each of the releases. It’s a trip around the ever-shrinking world, it gives an insight into the artist’s views and reasoning and it is nothing but a snapshot of the world, as we know it today (the extreme unbalance of the distribution of wealth aside). “The Noise & The City” is a testament to the immense power of the non-destructive side of human affairs, creativity and ideas and the potential of greatness residing in all members of the human race.
There’s a decidedly analogue feeling to the start of Dirge’s Fountain EP the fifth offering on Adim – Moulin005. In the “Hidden Track” the feeling is enhanced by the live sounding drums, guitars and unprocessed vocal, however there’s a lonely sounding violin involved as well in this melancholic track. “Casio (Early Version)” is a minute long interlude. “Phone” uses guitar, sampled busy-tone and conversation to great effect and you simply can’t get lonelier than you are in “Phone”. “Lois” contains more vocals, beautiful guitars, lonely sounding violins and timid beats. “Sympathetic Bar” with guitars, vocals and strings ends the “Fountain EP” and somehow this is exactly how you would imagine that the analogue/vocal sound of Adim (Autres Directions In Music) would be.
Un Jour EP is the name of Moulin 006 and that would be the sixth release on Adim. Atone delivers 5 tracks of high-quality electronic music stretching from dreamesque soundscapes to rhythmic complexity. The EP opens up with “Partir” with a sparkling melody reminiscent of the rising sun a beautiful summer’s day just after you’ve opened your eyes, for a new day and a new start. It is followed by the harmonica-filled “Two Marimbas” the hesitant melody in combination with the gentlest beats is trotting forward in a steady pace. “Balneaire” sets a calmer ambiance and would be the lazy afternoon in extreme heat and all blue skies. Very nice choices of sounds in this beatless track. “C’est Fini” has an understated bassline and some crisp beats, the sprinkled melody works beautifully as it is contrasted with the harsher sounds of the composition. Quite excellent. The EP is closed by the fifth and last song “Qobac Sine”. An atmospheric piece with heartbreaking melancholic sounds suspended mid-air in this the sonic picture of nightfall. To sum up it’s another nice EP from those Adim (Autres Directions In Music) people!
Propergol y Colargol, Charly Roger. Charly Roger. Songs for Fuzzycandy LP [Autres Directions In Music - MOULIN007, 2004]
The seventh release on Adim is brought to you by Propergol y Colargol. Their album entitled “Charly Roger. Songs for fuzzycandy LP” is Moulin007 it’s great. “No Particular Destination” sets of in a beatless and dark direction. “Il Covo Club” adds some structure to the sonic picture and its understated beats are decidedly glitchy. “Aunties Annies” contains echoed and layered disharmonic sounds fused with straight-forward yet feather-light beats creating a haunting effect and it’s quite nice at that. “Ass.Music.Etna.Zö Club” keeps the dark atmosphere with its beatless and desolate soundscapes. And it continues in “Benjamine’s Spasm” sounding like a recording of an alien radio transmission slowly being transformed into a slightly more earthly sounding song. “Café Trauma” if not feeling all that well maybe you shouldn’t go? In “-22-” there’s a catch, it’s reversed and watch those speakers/headphones when the treble onslaught sets in, intriguing. In “Forum Stadpark” Propergol y Colargol show a friendlier side with a sounding-like-harmonica-melody, distinct beats and a lot of atmosphere, but the question is can you trust them? “Hitchhicking Non-stop” is also treading on the gentler side of things and is virtually beatless. “Nordstern” and “O’fantasmo” conclude the album. The sound is very individual and maybe not on a beginners level, I for one find the “Charly Roger. Songs for Fuzzycandy LP” thoroughly enjoyable in some strange mysterious way. Adim full speed ahead, never mind the icebergs!