Norman Records (staff)

Apparently this new album from Silencio, brainchild of Julien Demoulin, has been gestating for going on seven years prior to being released for public scrutiny. This LP I'm reviewing has a bonus 7 with two songs that aren't on the CD version, and with a download too you really know they're spoiling ya. Anyway, on here Demoulin and lots of his friends, most notably co-composer Nicolas Lecocq, playing mournful, slow, almost ambient chamber neoclassical pieces with electronic elements added to the washes of organic tones. In places there's a definite Stars Of The Lid feel to it, it's always concordant and understated and beautiful, with well-measured pacing and enough melodic focus to keep the listener emotionally involved. It's reminding me a little of when Sparklehorse did his instrumental interludes; that same mournful, tentative pace that belies the confidence of the melodies. It's simultaneously intimate and cinematic, almost driving the listener themselves to become a new focal point, getting so close as to give the self-conscious feeling that one has been caught in the act of listening in to someone else's soul as you get swept up in the arcing swells and twinkles. It's not until the penultimate track that we get any drums, and even then they're only driving forward a lazy, jazzy groove with tasteful brass and playful, repetitive guitar before closer 'Home' brings us gently back down to earth with its evocative ascending minor synth chords. There's a mastery of texture at work here that's on a par with that fantastic recent Michael James Tapscott LP. Totally beautiful, soulful, cleansing, melodic semi-ambient electro acoustic neoclassicism. If that sounds like your kind of thing, this comes highly recommended.