sun 07/03/2021

CD: Syracuse - Liquid Silver Dream | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Syracuse - Liquid Silver Dream

CD: Syracuse - Liquid Silver Dream

Deceptively simple electropop seductions from French duo

Syracuse, playing tricks with memory and expectation

There's a current running through the underground club / electronic music of the 2010s that cares not a jot for progress – but neither is it retro as such. It's been called “outsider house”, which is a pretty lame name for stuff that is often extremely accessible and welcoming, and is certainly not just house music.

There's a current running through the underground club / electronic music of the 2010s that cares not a jot for progress – but neither is it retro as such. It's been called “outsider house”, which is a pretty lame name for stuff that is often extremely accessible and welcoming, and is certainly not just house music. Rather it's a kind of neo-psychedelia, a sound that plays tricks with memory and expectation, collapsing oppositions between sophistication and naiveté, between kitsch and sincerity, and between low and high fidelity in the pursuit of beautiful discombobulation. And as the none-too-subtle title of this mini-album might suggest, that's what the duo of Antoine Kogut and Isabelle Maitre are about here.

At first when you flick through these tracks you're certainly likely to be taken back to early Eighties electropop, and you might well hear the gurgle and snap of acid house, or the swooshes and warm body-trip synth chords of the hippie ravers of early Nineties free parties from Cornwall to San Fransisco. You might even hear echoes of new age relaxation tapes, or rhythmic tics that sound like 21st century dubstep or R&B. But the second you try and home in on one of these reference points, it becomes surprisingly hard to pin down, melting into a bigger whole, with the rippling silk of Maitre's voice a siren song coaxing you away from conceptualising and towards submission to their gentle magic. And so, while any given synth tone, any given phrase, might feel simplistic, in fact the totality of each of these songs, whether it's the 11-minute space disco voyage of the title track or the sub two-minute wisp of “Le Coeur en Naufrage”, is both startlingly complete and immensely compelling.

Hear the album:

It collapses oppositions between sophistication and naiveté, between kitsch and sincerity, and between low and high fidelity

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

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