- Ambient sketches that conjure up images of a forgotten beachside resort.
- Roméo Poirier's first album, Plage Arriére, channeled memories of Greek beaches through electroacoustic ambience somewhere between Jon Hassell and David Toop. His second, Hotel Nota, returns to the theme, conjuring images of a beachside resort with its tropical warmth and wistful melodies. Hotel Nota sketches a place that feels forgotten by time, often with found sounds that are non-musical in nature but emotional in use.
The LP opens with "Thalassocratie," which starts with close-mic'd rustling before a horn refrain blankets the track in mournful melodies. The horns are worn-out, sad and mysterious, which should perk up the ears of Fourth World fans—it's not too far off from Jon Hassell's classic debut Vernal Equinox.
There is nothing clinical about Hotel Nota. The sound design is homespun and evocative: there's a windswept malaise to the horns on "Le Bematiste," whose beautiful but cold sounds might make you think of a beautiful beach in the dead of a bitterly cold winter. The looping chords on "Ekphrasis," the album's climax, are stately, while the plucked guitar on "Penombre" is intimate and hushed, like you're listening in on something private.
Poirier creates a distinct realm in just 43 minutes, with a relatively stripped-back set of sounds and moods. The beachside vibe is subtle—a track like "Du Rocher" wobbles like a boat on the waves, with the occasional sonar ping—but it's there, offering a way to understand the shuddering, metallic sounds that plink and plonk at the forefront. This is ambient music that builds a new space for you to contemplate rather than soundtracking the physical space around you. This is the signature of Sferic, the low-key label behind essential records from the likes of Space Afrika, Jake Muir and Perila, with a style of ambient music that feels transportive and personal.
02. Longe Cote
03. Trace Palmaire
04. Le Bematiste
06. Hotel Nota
08. Du Rocher