This collaborative multimedia project can easily rank among the best top three releases of the year. The various styles and influences on “Scorpklub I & II” will please those listening to heavy psych, ambient, experimental post-rock, and experimental electronica.
As soon as I noticed Hifiklub‘s name, I knew this would be a masterpiece, and I was not disappointed. Everything that the French avant-garde trio has released was a blown mind. After you realize Hifiklub has partnered with Montreal animator Scorpion Dagger (James Kerr), you keep saying what an incredible audiovisual experience this will be. However, the surprises do not stop here, as Hifiklub introduces industry legends, Iggor Cavalera and Alain Johannes.
You may need to warm up a little before playing the album. According to the press kit, “the inspiration for the ScorpKlub project was to create unique works using the remarkable collection of Toulon Art Museum as a pallete through a multidisciplinary exchange of sounds and moving images. Hifiklub responded in music to the digital collages created by Kerr, who mischievously altered twenty artworks ranging from the 15th to the beginning of the 20th century, from the museum’s permanent collection.”
The 20 tracks were recorded in two parts, the first in a studio with Iggor recording remotely and the second in front of a live audience with Alain’s recording remotely. ‘Hate Music‘ and ‘Camel‘ leave you wanting more, but they are so superb in executions that you’ll hit hard on that replay button. The way ‘Camel‘ ended was giving me seizures. You have no time for overthinking, as you’re immediately entering the electronica word of ‘Bed Dance.’ The many genres used in “Scorpklub I & II” seem to speak to the thousands of voices and emotions consumed daily. With ‘Bed Dance,’ you will likely dance away all the worries.
The next single, ‘Glass Drop,’ provides a massive shift in instrumental, conveying experiences of wrestling with your darkest thoughts. The moment passes by, as the song lasts 1 min and 8 seconds. When you reach ‘Goats,’ the electronic dance music hits you in the face. In a way, it parallels ‘Bed Dance‘ with its hypnotic, somewhat synthwave setting.
Once you’re diving into the album, it gets more apparent that the first half of the release is more ambient/electronic while seeing Iggor Cavalera offering support with drums, synthesizers, percussion, and programming. The album is a total mood; you’re sitting peacefully at your desk listening to ‘Weird Five‘ alternative rock, and you’re hitting the floor with ‘Abduction Square‘ the other moment.
‘Navy‘ hits different. The song feels emotionally vulnerable and sad in places. ‘Walk on Water‘ takes on a more sultry tone, painting a more dramatic picture. While all tracks are short and rather punchy, each has a distinctive tone. After listening to the first half of the release, ‘Walk on Water’ has beautifully imprinted in my mind.
The second half of “ScorpKlub I & II” sees Alain Johannes support HifiKlub on guitar. The songs become alert, more experimental, and extremely bass heavy, offering a rich tone and texture. ‘Creeps‘ has clear resemblances of Ennio Morricone‘s solid style, and it’s undoubtedly my favorite trap from the second part of “ScorpKlub I&II“.
While this release won’t be for everyone, there will be many who will fully appreciate how unique and fascinating it is. To summarize, the variety of influences and styles keeps the albums fresh and exciting, and you want to hear more and more as it progresses. My only complaint is that the tracks are far too short. I would have loved to hear more of ‘Goats,’ ‘Walk on Water‘, or ‘Creeps,’ but the replay button will work just as fine.
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