Accompanied by Sylvain Chauveau's beautiful instrumental backdrop, Felicia Atkinson intones captivating, mesmeric spoken passages in both French and English. Ordinarily, this reviewer tends to find it hard to truly embrace spoken word albums, but Atkinson's bilingual tracts unexpectedly draw you in. There's an aesthetic congruity between these withdrawn, strangely emotive utterances and Chauveau's opium haze background noise, which at times sounds like something from Charalambides' "A Vintage Burden", while at others you'll think you're listening to the pulses and bleeps of hospital life support machinery.
It's all quite strange, and often unsettling, yet beguiling all the same. The lulling electric guitar passages of opening tracks 'Aberdeen' and 'How The Light' transplant you to a mindset somewhere on the brink of consciousness, only for 'Dans Le Lumiere' to confuse and disorientate you over the course of its ten-minute journey toward the static absoluteness of its droning coda. The eighteen minute title track that closes the album is probably the most remarkable of the four pieces, with Chauveau fashioning a far more densely woven musical setting for Atkinson's voice. Interlocking, sustaining guitars meet and overlap while soft electronic activity hums in the background, retaining a blissful harmonic cogency throughout. It's all very poetic, and the kind of album you could happily immerse yourself in for hours at a time.
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