Week in Pop: Emily Ritz, Hélène Barbier, Pictorial Candi

Sjimon Gompers

The continuing adventures of Berlin pop designer Pictorial Candi; photographed by Moritz Freudenberg.

Fléau

Fléau’s Mathieu Mégemont (aka Le Mage) in Mériadeck & the Immeuble Scope; press photo courtesy of the artist.

Following up 2015’s self-titled album, Fléau provides more music for future films with a listen to the title track from Fléau II available March 29 from Atelier Ciseaux/Anywave Records. The visionary compositions of Mathieu Mégemont, aka Le Mage, of Year of No Light, VvvV & AE; the artist eschews the short-cut conveniences of samples & loops in favor of a powerful instrumental that counts such creative comforts like Crumar Multiman-S, DSI Mopho, Korg MS-20, Realistic/Moog MG-1, Roland JX-3P & a trusty Roland JP-08. Le Mage manufactures organically the environmental canvases for a plethora of narratives to transpire & conspire against that spells out cinema styles & stories that have yet to be created.

“Fléau II” sounds like the setup to a heated situation that an art-house thriller would open with. The rhythmic synth-pulse slowly emerges like the swelling of tensions & the feeling of stakes rising higher than the tide. Further keys enter the frame as Mathieu complicates the situation with the addition of more keyboard progressions that intertwine & overlap to stir the atmosphere toward the brink of decisive discoveries. The center core percussive-keys spurn series of other synth spin-offs that build off the centrality of the title track that makes for a total head trip. Everything from spy flicks to car-chasing film-fodder is imagined as Mégemont invents a cult-action odyssey atmosphere that places the listener as the star in the picture of pure imagination.

Mathieu Mégemont of Fléau shared some exclusive insights about the making of the new album Fléau II:

More than an expansion, this record has been built as a reaction to the first LP. First one one was a minimalist record and very imaginary soundtrack oriented. This one is kind of maximalist, very proggy due to the extensive length of the tracks and was conceived as a collection of short audio films. The idea is that each listener can write his own story and direct his own movie based on each track.

Fléau II is available now for pre-orders via Atelier Ciseaux/Anywave Records (available as a double LP March 29).

Cover art by Raphaël Lugassy, designed by Myriam Barchechat.

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