French electronic producer Franck Vigroux most recently graced us with his ‘Barricades’ album at the end of 2017, and now this latest 12” EP ‘Desastre’ offers up his debut release on new Serbian label Jezgro. Vigroux describes this EP as being inspired by the fragility of human experience when compared to space, and it’s certainly apt subject matter for the four new tracks collected here, which veer from unsettling dark ambience into all-out industrial fury.
As with Vigroux’s preceding ‘Barricades’ album, it’s the influences of industrial figureheads such as Nine Inch Nails and Front Line Assembly that often loom largely here, casting a dark cinematic undertone to these contorted and highly detailed tracks. ‘Mare Nostrum’ opens proceedings with an eight minute wander out into crunching IDM beats and eerie wailing synth ambience that sees dark bursts of distorted bass curving around the shimmering electronics before gradually building into a vast wall of sound that almost swallows up the entire track before abruptly falling away into the background.
If the aforementioned track suggests downbeat claustrophobia along the lines of Techno Animal, ‘Supernova’ pushes the pace up a few notches, sending clusters of kickdrums thudding against metallic percussion while whirring synth drones build into a rush of shimmering textures and jagged feedback bleeds out against ominous hoovering bass tones that seem to suggest robotic wasps. Indeed, the resulting fusion feels more psychedelic and shoegazer-influenced than anything conventionally ‘industrial’.
On the flipside, ‘Cap’ offers up what’s easily this EP’s most contemplative moment as lush layers of ambient synths and phased melodic elements stretch out like nebulae over a beatless landscape, the shifting tonal arrangements taking on an almost symphonic film score feel. By contrast, ‘The Dune’ closes this EP with its most searingly intense offering as processed power chords buzz like a wall of hornets against sizzling electronic processing, and it’s the more nihilistic instrumental passages of NIN’s ‘The Downward Spiral’ that most immediately come to mind here as the layers of pure metal machine music lurch and twist against each other. An excellent EP from Franck Vigroux that’s well worth seeking out.