Wednesday, March 22, 2017
C40 (Hylé Tapes)
As has come to be the norm for a Hylé Tapes release, we as an audience are treated to a new and exciting direction in experimental electronic music, this time from Paris-based musician Adrien Kanter. Not weird at all. This is to be expected. The high standard of quality demanded by Richard Frances and his Hylé crew is not one to lose sight of, as each and every cassette release from the label is an exercise in supreme enjoyment. Kanter follows in the footsteps of his labelmates, and as such is a fantastic addition to them. That’s not to say one must or even should define Kanter’s output in contrast to his peers, but it certainly is worth knowing that he belongs among them, at least at this point in time. There was Adrien Kanter before, and there will be Adrien Kanter after. With Infinites Réflexions, we have Adrien Kanter now.
The title of the cassette easily translates as “infinite reflections,” and each track on the album plays like the soundtrack to a self-assessment. One day you’re feeling good about yourself, another day you’ve just about had it up to here with your lot in life. Each day, each second is a new moment to consider, a philosophical crossroads where the choice you make about your inner being points you on a specific path and strips any other possibility from existence within this universe. Think of each moment as an internal Schrödinger’s cat – you’re both satisfied and dissatisfied with an outcome until you choose one.
The music tends to straddle that line, and as such it offers myriad interpretations, each one dependent, again, upon the choice you impose on the music. How are you listening? Does the strange guitar and sampling of “Iceberg Dolores” make you feel tense, or does it instill in you a sense of wonder? Does “Bagarre de Lions” upset you by recalling elements of your past better left alone, or is it a nostalgia trip to lovely places? Is “Fleur de nuit” a reminder of love or loss? Now can you see? There are … infinite possibilities.
All this is quite heady, and it’s important to remember that Adrien Kanter’s music is, on a purely responsive level, excellent. It hits all the right spots for the experimentalist and the electronic aficionado alike. It even manages to invoke astral synth drone and kraut at times. It’s a lovely concoction, meant to be listened to from start to finish. Infinites Réflexions belongs in its place as another in a long line of superb releases from Hylé. Hop to it, music consumers!