Behind Black Clouds

Written by: LF on 30/06/2015 17:37:48

Monochromie is a one-man project by the French artist Wilson Trouvé who creates music in the cross-section between ambient and cinematic post-rock with the piano as his primary instrument. He lists famous pianist-composers like Erik Satie and Frederic Chopin as inspirations right next to more noisy post-rock artists like Mogwai and Godspeed You! Black Emperor and all of these can certainly be heard in the different elements of his songs. Next to explicitly musical elements he also uses different recordings of people and various kinds of noise in his compositions, giving his music a certain experimental side as well.

Most of the tracks here have a very tactile quality to them, describing motions rather than moods or intangible landscapes. This makes a lot of sense knowing that Trouvé is also a visual artist and he has explained that he regards sound as a palpable texture that can be sculpted and formed just like clay, paper or paint. This approach gives his cinematic compositions a very tangible character and keeps them from floating too far away which is very refreshing for an ambient release.

There's a sense of slow evolution throughout the record and time never quite stands still at any point even though the more steadily looping songs like "L'envolée", "Noise" or the outstanding "We Are Not Afraid – Sometimes A Rainbow" might give that impression. In general the tracks on the album move from a focus on piano and soft, looping melodies to a deeper and more noisy sound on the second half of the album, the dividing point being the ten-minute "Heart Beat" which stands out as one of the more noticeable tracks of the album because of its grandiose yet delicate, twinkling sound. The album is a full hour long and while that could easily spell boredom for an ambient record, that is not the case here as Trouvé certainly knows what he's doing when it comes to composition. It's a very precisely composed record, consisting of movements of a larger whole rather than of stand-alone songs and the length of the album is actually a strength as every composition gets the time it needs to unfold properly.

Still, of course, some elements of the whole make more of an impression than others. Especially worth mentioning is the rhythmical diversity of "Polyhymnia" and the almost desperate flutters of the piano in "Fade Away" which both provide some of the highlights of the musical journey of "Behind Black Clouds". It certainly works as easy listening but for those who find joy in exploring new sounds attentively, there is a whole world to dive into here that should last for several listens.


Download: Polyhymnia, Fade Away, Heart Beat, We Are Not Afraid – Sometimes A Rainbow
For The Fans Of: Eluvium, Brian Eno, Explosions in the Sky, Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Release date 24.04.2015
Fluttery Records

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