- Roland Appel's "Fleurs Du Mal" does the good deed of closing the distance between house music and the kind of stuff that could soundtrack a movie by Andrei Tarkovsky. That's a considerable distance, to be sure, and it's not like nobody else has grafted a good house groove to tones and textures borrowed from classical music or sci-fi. But "Fleurs Du Mal" is unusual in that it totally works, and convincingly enough to blur the kind of too-easy distinctions that can distract from the point of the enterprise.
Over the course of 7-plus minutes that feel much longer, "Fleurs Du Mal" marries a martial, slightly downbeat house groove to impressionistic spills of piano, sounds from bells and, most spectacularly, voices from a choir spread suggestively thin. Appel makes a good show of restraint through it all (what could have been a gaudy mess is anything but), and there's a moody insistence to "Fleurs Du Mal" that makes all of the drama that rises out of it feel earned. The b-side, "Black Leather," is more pent-up and tracky, in a similarly suspicious mood but ready to let loose with a comparatively banging beat and a mind to go deep and get lost.
A Fleurs Du Mal
B Black Leather