There’s always something mysterious within noise and drone music. It is either soft and comforting as a bird’s chirp or as loud and abrasive as a jackhammer. However, Lunt‘s newest album, “Between crystal and smoke,” feels like the sibling of ambiance instead. While some use drone music to express anger, a cathartic explosion of sound, if you will, with “Between crystal and smoke,” Gilles Deles finds beauty in corrosion and eternity in decay.
Inspired by Henri Atlan’s book “Entre le cristal et la fumée: Essai Sur l’organisation de vivant,” 1979, Gilles Deles crafted a work that offers a breath-taking melancholic experience. Once you hit the play button, the album feels like you’re standing in a protective bubble while all creation collapses around you.
Right from the start, the experimental electro-acoustic sounds of ‘Vibration Unaire’ let us hear the occasional quiet of erosion. If it were up to me, the opening track would perfectly background a horror movie or a Tarkoyvskian-like movie. Being greatly helped by GMR plugins to generate complex sound coming from the original noise, Gilles’s ‘Vibration Unaire’ is quickly bursting into a tension that we are never granted access to but to which we are provided profound mystical implications.
While “Between crystal and smoke” is a drone record, it’s an ambient one yet refusing to let you go gently into the good night. The mournful sounds of ‘L’altération’ are the record’s highlights, as they serve as an epic sequence of your saddest life experiences. The second track has its relentless chill sounds, but as time passes by, they prologue the song with a corroded noise of a machine trying to deny its obsolescence.
‘Les Nodules Synergisent’ is a hypnotizing disengagement of meaning. Here, Gilles Deles enhances the stability of concrete, softly shaking our minds and plunging into the awe of the decontextualized experience. Depending on your background settings, the record may get you lost in the spiritual space of uncertain authenticity or find you brought to tears hidden in the original meaning of life. Either way, there are infinite listening possibilities, and in “Between crystal and smoke,” beauty comes from the textural warmth of hypnotic patterning, both equally satisfying.
Listening back to these pieces of music, I feel like I was trying to make minerals becoming alive. As always with creation, something may have gone beyond my intentions, and maybe, somehow, my musical self may have been somewhere between crystal and smoke.
Overall, “Between crystal and smoke” is a mood setter with a tremendous atmospheric feeling and profound insights. It is of great complexity to attempt to embody existentialism in music and do so successfully.
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