Like a Jacob’s ladder of sounds, atmospheres and samples, Franz Kirmann‘s new album, Random Access Memories
It’s a good album to zone out. It feels like a very long song (although tracks don’t crossfade at all), with a natural flow that only gets rocky when vocals come in and take you out of the dreamy layers of sounds. Nothing wrong with the vocals, but it does take you away for a few moments, until you go into a state of vigil and acceptance.
Most songs work like little jigsaws, where different instruments clash and are covered under the unending skies. ‘De 6 a 7’ lays the foundation, with its little glitches droning like birds during sunset. Like a chillout session, it’s based on continuous sounds, horizon over horizon, layer over layer.
‘Liza’ adds some drumming, maybe as reminder that you are still awake and not dreaming, but not for long, as ‘Tunis’, ‘L’ennui’ and ‘To the last years’ continue being the little reindeer bell tied to Mr. Sandman. There’s in a Modus Operandi at work with Franz Kirmann‘s sound, but he likes to pull a fast one (or two) from time to time.
‘The Savage Eye’ goes for a little bit of unsettling noises in the form of a reverberated drone. Maybe from this moment onwards, the dreams you are having become nightmares. The high school sweetheart is now married and unhappily divorced. The best friend from your childhood is now a paranoid conspiracy theorist with crackpot theories about drinking water. The veils of happy dreams go away and now you’re left with a harsh realm, where you are the king.
Yes, amidst the whole atmosphere of peace and calmness, there is a change in feelings. Even if it still is electronica/ambient, it somehow feels different after ‘The Savage Eye’. Something happened and that’s the sign of a good narrative.
‘Lexi’ and ‘Jimmy Jimereeno’ are my favourite two pieces from this album. ‘Lexi’ has this air of defiance, like a revelation slowly creeping into you. The status quo changed and there’s conflict. The inner peace after coming to terms with said revelation? ‘Jimmy Jimereeno’, followed by an encore of mad dreams in the album closer, ‘Nocturne Indien’.
It’s a strange album, that’s for sure, and it might seem like “the same track all over” for a few moments, but it grows, it really grows. ‘Lexi’ is the definite prime cut but there’s much more to find if you invest some time into this one.