by Frédéric D. Oberland
Multi-‐instrumentalist, musician, photographer and co-‐founder of groups such as Oiseaux-Tempête, Le Réveil des Tropiques, FOUDRE!, The Rustle Of The Stars and FareWell Poetry, Frédéric D. Oberland takes, as the starting point for his sophomore solo album, a vertiginous dive into George Bataille's 'Inner Experience' and the cave of Dante's 'Inferno'.
A condensed version of a sound and visual installation created in the basement of the contemporary art space Labanque in Béthune, 'Labyrinth' invites us to bare witness to the loss of landmarks and to feel then immersive sense of trance. The point of departure, the opening note, is the A, the lowest of the piano, from which we slide, almost imperceptibly, snapped up by a wave of sounds, rich in their instrumentation, sometimes rough (electric guitars, console feedbacks, bursts of transformed drums and saxophone screams crackling in their dissonance) and a other moments delicate (hushed and scattered chords of piano, mellotron and distant synths in whispering voices).
Accompanied by the drumming and spatial mixing by Jules Wysocki, the six connected stages/chapters of this immersive journey embrace expanse. In a continuous game of call and response between the intimate and the vast, 'Labyrinth' plays with the dynamics, the silence and the musical genres (ambient, free-jazz, electronics, acousmatic), kneading and pulling he form and structure of the tracks in ever changing attempts towards transfiguring the chaos.
More radical in continuity and more outlandish than his first album 'Peregrinus Ubique' (VoxxoV, 2015), the 'Labyrinth' of Frédéric D. Oberland recalls in these almost orgiastic collages, the work of "editing" provided for his nomadic Oiseaux-Tempête albums (Sub Rosa, 2012-‐2017), yet here in a more introverted territory, weaving a cocoon whose ascending and cyclical pulsations intoxicate us, as if under hypnosis.