Victor Hugo once said “Music is sound that thinks“, in this that it arranges a seemingly amorphic chaos via harmonic order – a rooted cultural construction anyhow – but without denying the innate “musical” essence of a seemingly dissonant noise for instance.
Navigating in a world that so easily surrenders to heavily-conditioned, over-standardized mimicry and infinite replicas, opening new paths of action is an act of resistance and perhaps even of a certain sedition; something that UK-based imprint Seagrave has long understood. Still harboured away from such Pavlovian principles, the latest instalment in the label’s mammoth catalogue comes courtesy of a singular voice in the landscape of French electronic music in the person of Nantes-based sound artist Marine Drouan aka Kritzkom.
Deftly maneuvering her way in and around tangled leftfield motifs and further well-beaconed techno grounds, Drouan shows all the more effective when it comes to building strangely hypnotic sound-designs; weaving minimalistic scales of oddball machinic spurts and clinical-precise metronomic grooves within a widespread gamut of stark post-industrial synthscapes and other deep-and-steep subductive layers.
Even though each cut present on the album is very minutely executed, it’s their quirky, off-balance quality that make for Kritzkom’s greater assets here. One of the record’s highlights, ‘Quark Beauty‘, follows a rather unflinching linear course but the track’s main interest lies in its dubby meanders and multi-level field depth; ‘Fluctuation‘ burns with a sorrowful nostalgia, whilst ‘To The Sun‘ makes for a finespun – slightly blue funk – downtempo delight in its own right.
On the excellent title-track, ‘Void Minus Matter‘, Drouan conjures the beautifully textured electronica of BoC along broken, hissy electronics a la Autechre, whilst the stealthy ‘Forest Reverb‘ and its throbbing bassline clearly peep towards Basic Channel and Maurizio. Last but not least, ‘Gravity’s Rainbow‘ tops it off with power and strength, putting on a brutal 4/4 groove fit for intensive warehouse action. Revealing Kritzkom’s iron fist under the velvet glove, an explosive last stand by way of radical conclusion.
Void Minus Matter is out now via Seagrave, order a copy from Bandcamp.
2. Quark Beauty
3. Swell Pattern
4. Void Minus Matter
5. To The Sun
7. Forest Reverb
8. Unstable Isotope
9. Carbon Cycle
10. Gravity’s Rainbow