(New Album Review) Saenïnvey- The Path

By now, I’ve basically accepted the fact that French CD label Eilean Records‘ output is nigh impossible to keep up with as a writer, though certainly not as a listener. Month after month, they unveil gorgeously textural and inventive works in modern composition and ambient sound art. And I often end up feeling like I can’t really do these collections complete justice with words. For starters, in March, there was the tranced-out mostly-acoustic emotionalism of Jason Van Wyk’s Attachment and the ruminative but totally non-academic charm of Chris Dooks’s Accretion Disk. Fantastic stuff. The words didn’t come. Then in April, came Phi Bui’s Unnoticed Moments, ephemeral, jazzy electronica of a delicate beauty that caught me off guard. This April release was accompanied by the alternately nostalgic and disquieted fictional document Carrier, from Patrick Murphy recording as Daniel K. Böhm, disgraced nuclear scientist. Nothing doing. Yet none of this stuff should be missed. The rest of Eilean’s Spring, Summer and Fall brought not only an avalanche of new material by Porya HatamiOffthesky, and øjeRum, among many others, but also the book/vinyl edition Stills, the first offering from Eilean curator Mathias Van Eecloo‘s publishing imprint, IIKKI. I want to take a minute, though, to backtrack to June, and The Path, the debut recording of Saenïnvey, French drone musician Yves-Gaël Jacak.

The pieces on The Path are electro-acoustic soundscapes that fall into the universe of projects like Gimu, Svarte Greiner, Deison, Kaboom Karavan…dark ambience that circumvents the potential monotony of doomy and gloomy over-reliance on glacial synth pads seen elsewhere. Endlessly echoing, skittering percussion; slicing whines from strings, deep billows and uneasily ebbing electronic drones are arranged to create shimmering atmospheres in which you’re constantly engaged, always meant to strain a little for the buried details. Shadowy but not-murky, more hi-fi and finding its mystery more through cautious handling of silence than sheer force of distortion, The Path is fine stuff indeed from a fine label. Highly recommended if you’ve ever gotten intrigued by the output of labels like Miasmah Recordings and to any and all looking for genuine originality in darkly ambient sounds.

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