- Touching on darker shades of IDM and prog, Priori's latest still has the irresistible tug of his most upbeat and vibrant work.
- When asked about how he manages to compartmentalize so many different musical personalities, Montreal producer Francis Latreille told Panm360: "We absorb what’s around us. It changes from day to day, so I listen to my emotions and see what happens." Under his Priori alias, he's explored nature and technology's intersection points with sci-fi informed IDM, among other themes. His latest LP, Nigh, introduces RED, a new musical project that continues down the path of contemplation he started during pandemic isolation. Latreille builds on the ambient electronic-shoegaze fusion that guided 2021's Your Own Power, but this time repurposed to showcase a darker, more chaotic and more rugged sound than we've heard from him before.
With Nigh, Latreille delves into the loneliness of rural living and his personal interest in mysticism. Razor-sharp breakbeats, discordant melodies and tranquil pads conjure a placelessness as alluring as it is eerie. Clouds of ominous synths loom, dense and foreboding, as Priori's drums chip away at the dense atmospheres. The stomping low-end means there are a few surprisingly clubby moments, but the dance floor is an intimate, internal one. On tracks like "From The Swallow" and "Landfill," the music lingers meditatively like some unanswerable question, unphased by the percussive mania around it.
The aptly named "Robash (Nothing Is Normal)" is full of twists and turns—the midsection croaks and groans like a living thing, only to cloak itself in silence and then re-emerge with a pounce. "The Coins U Saved" abruptly bursts into extraterrestrial life after a downtempo first half, intricately textured to the point you want to reach out and touch it. On "Going Sour In The Heat," searching pads unfurl and swell, pulled by the momentum of the percussive rushes. Whenever the drums pause, you're left taken aback by how deceptively simple the accompanying melodies are.
"I don't think of science fiction as being separate from earth. There is a lot we don't understand about this place," Latreille told Also Cool Mag. Nigh feels like Latreille exploring those unexplored or misunderstood territories. Between the cavernous ping-ponging synths, breakbeats that bubble up and out of the pot, and the menacing alien terrain ambience that pervades Nigh there is plenty of mid-'90s Aphex Twin and late-'90s prog house woven into Priori's second outing as RED. Every track feels alive and unconstrained. The resulting sci-fi IDM hybrid is Priori at his most Priori: high-stakes from start to finish, and captivatingly unsettling.
04. Robash (Nothing Is Normal)
05. Think Not
06. Going Sour In The Heat
07. The Hammer
09. Bottom Of The Field
10. From The Swallow
11. The Coins U Saved