Feu St-Antoine - L'eau Par La Soif

  • Befuddling and beautiful electronics from Marie Davidson's partner in Essaie Pas.
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  • Pierre Guerineau is best known for his work in Essaie Pas, the duo project that helped establish Marie Davidson before she broke out as a solo artist. L'eau Par La Soif, his first album under the alias Feu St-Antoine, uses uncanny realism to create a startling realm of sound. Guerineau blurs the line between acoustic and electronic, creating striking sounds and arresting melodies within a stately but unpredictable framework. L'eau Par La Soif is the first release on Éditions Appærent, the new label from Guerineau, Will Ballantyne and Jesse Osborne-Lanthier, artists whose work is highly aestheticized and ultra-modern. This style lends L'eau Par La Soif a futuristic quality that's underlined with soul: imagine old Raster-Noton records with a beating human heart. Guerineau's work is made with precise sound design, but that hardly ever comes at the expense of feeling. Take "Blues Pour Papa," a collaboration with Alex Zhang Hungtai. His saxophone is buried under coarse filters, but look past the alien textures and you'll hear its wounded melody. A vocoder partly obscures a poignant reading on "The Appærence." What sounds like mic'd piano strings on the short but touching "Non Grata" is an illustrative look at his approach—here Guerineau not only plays beautiful music but lets us hear the mechanics behind it. Bits and pieces of dance music surface on L'eau Par La Soif, like the acid swells and limping rhythms of "Spazio Libero," or the stuttering opener "Lisiéres," which sounds like a pitched-down harpsichord dueling with a drum machine. These fitful, hard-to-parse songs foreground the element of surprise and also lean into the project's concept. L'eau Par La Soif is a confusing album, but one that intrigues as it it goes from loud crescendo to delicate quietude, sometimes in the same track (like the 22nd-century kosmische of the title song). The closer "Printemps" is the album's crowning achievement, starting out with careful piano overlaid with bleating goats, before the track is taken over by warbling synths and choral vocals, and, eventually, French spoken word. L'eau Par La Soif is an album of contradictions where supposedly clashing elements sound at home together.
  • Tracklist
      01. Lisières 02. The Appærence 03. Blues Pour Papa feat. Alex Zhang Hungtai 04. Spazio Libero 05. Non Grata 06. L'eau Par La Soif 07. Avale feat. Nick Rony 08. Printemps