Wednesday, 23 July 2014

No Longer Searching For Contrepoison

I used to have a lot of animosity towards the cult that seemed to rise around Cold Cave and the label coldwave. It seemed like such a cultured, deliberate style and system, without much soul – a meticulously created zeitgeist. Of course my interests were directed elsewhere at the time, namely drawn to the likes of Times New Viking and other lo-fi guitar pop wailers, so my opinions aren’t entirely objective (and I never claim them to be). But the desolation and seduction of the electronic act sounds less synthetic in an inauthentic sense to me, and has found some footholds in my recent musical fascinations, especially as I delve into the AVANT!, NNA and NNF label rosters.

 One guy that I have always found interesting however is Pierre-Marc Tremblay, AKA Contrepoison. His dark orchestral electronics seem balanced to take the hauntological tropes and fixations that some of these leather-clad heathens emblazon so desperately and bury them in a damaged soul. In fact, although I do love much of the output that LA wunderkinds Not Not Fun Records induce, there is a truer sense of purpose and soul in a Contrepoison release. Take in point I Keep On Searching, the recent EP to come out on AVANT! Records. For me the kicker is the one-two punch on the B-side of the title track and ‘Nectar of Destiny’ – the former an electronic swarm of burbling white noise out of the abyss, impassioned vocals echoing over the top, Gothic rocking in the foetal position, searching for enlightenment or avoiding madness, it all means the same; whilst the latter shows dappled light appearing through the broken heavens, a march to heaven or to purgatories unknown, Tremblay’s vocals a bastion to oblivion, the synth both uplifting and heartrending. The emotional core my change shape, a chimera of sensation, but it is there, and it’s that attachment that makes this EP a great release.

Grab I Keep On Searching here.

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