Dark Waves For Little Greys
Operating out of the south of France, Facthedral's Hall has been releasing music since 1997, all of it on CDR until now, with Deadrow77's double-CD collection (500 copies available) the underground label's first formally manufactured release. That's not the only interesting thing about the project: the album's twenty-nine instrumentals were recorded by Fabien Della Roma, a farmer who grows organic Saffron in the Oriental Pyrenees mountains, in his caravan using an Arturia MiniLab 25 synthesizer as the sole sound-generator. The majority of these spontaneous improvisations were recorded in a single take and have been sequenced in chronological order, the first CD presenting those produced in 2013 and the second in 2014.
Each track is a self-contained electronic scene-painting of ambient-electro character; they're mood paintings, too, that range between the darkest of excursions to ones of considerably lighter disposition. There are few dips in quality, and Deadrow77 guides us through everything from gothic cathedrals to underground caverns on this in-depth darkwave collection. He's clearly got a gift for melody, and that each multi-layered production came into being as an improv makes the accomplishment all the more impressive. Titles such as “Ghost Trap,” “Carbon Circus,” and “Knockin' D. Lynch's Door” convey some of the tracks' musical character all by themselves, and the arrangements are rich in sonorities, rhythms, and textures. From the jaunty (“Poob Knight”) and medieval (“Queen's Death”) to the spacey (“Leaving Earth”) and meditative (“Birthnight Today”), the release has all the bases pretty much covered.The Arturia MiniLab 25 synthesizer obviously has much to offer with respect to the range of sounds that can be coaxed from it (one could be forgiven for thinking that a harpsichord's featured in “Melancholia Tribe,” for example). Still, at 110 minutes there's more Deadrow77 material here than one admittedly needs, and a single-CD overview drawn from the discs' content would have sufficed. That being said, it's hard not to be struck by the huge number of different song-like variations he's generated on Dark Waves For Little Greys armed with nothing more than a single synthesizer and his own creative imagination.