Swiss artist and label boss Gaspard de La Montagne has developed a unique sound that blends organic aesthetics and industrial drums. This mixture has resulted in the output of some alarming music that does not fail to toy with the fabric of your emotions.
After a few releases from De La Montagne on the Swiss label Creaked Records, he is back once again with a new EP Spectres, but this time on his own label SBIRE. Their first release was compilation from various artists that covered a wide musical spectrum ranging from house to instrumental grime.
What is special about this EP is how coherent the tracks are. Spectre affirms how De La Montagne is not only a musician, but a storyteller who precisely crafts sonic journeys capable of transporting you into an unearthly world of sounds. The EP has a cinematic structure where tension descends down from track to track, completely resolving by the last one. The last track is an opening for a new story with a higher level of intensity that would work better into a club.
The intro track “Spectre” is a pensive four to the floor that does not necessarily get you dancing, but rather invokes a reflective state of mind. It starts out with a whining melody that is the core of the track. Filtered classic Juno sounding pads create a sense of tension that continues to rise with the introduction of bending pads, recalling the mystic mood of David August’s “Patria”. The whole piece is topped by crafty industrial percussion work.
The second track departs with a mournful pads and metallic percussion, complemented by a ducked reverb that creates a ghostly breathing effect. The voyage keeps escalating with the introduction of cinematic pads. Halfway through, a turnover takes place by substituting any melodic content with glitchy percussion work, freezing the notion of time.
Tension keeps falling in the third track “Masque”, conserving the same aesthetics of the first two tracks with their metallic percussion and dreamy pad sounds, but with a change in mood towards hopefulness. Cello-like pads play suspended notes occupying the low-mid range under a tiny sounding arpeggiator, creating a feeling that takes you back to your innocent childhood.
The final track of the EP, "Perspective", is a musical masterpiece. It is different than the first three tracks, yet compliments them by offering resolution. It starts out with a vivid pad that would suit the final scene of a movie where the main character stands on top of a mountain with the sun sinking behind them. The victorious anthem starts darkening the moment the kick and broken hi-hats come in. Ambient work starts to be more recognizable with the disappearance of the triumphant pad, as if the night has fallen, introducing a new chapter of the story.
Follow Gaspard De La Montagne on SoundCloud.