Somnambule - Writing About Music

Braille ~ Partir

Partir’s opening track “Postal” momentarily sounds like the bridal anthem. Thereafter, however, Braille’s first track decides to pursue a different direction in life. Little hints of the ceremony remain in organ-like chords sounded with much determination. Their resolve grows increasingly embattled in the face of a variety of corrosive forces apparently bent upon their erosion and ultimate dissolution. “Presente” introduces silkily synthetic vocals from Alice Imbert sung against a backdrop of dappled rust whose gingery skeins betray a seemingly deliberate elision of reason. Pleasing sighs and pleas for blessings unknown are all that remain of Imbert’s original intent. “Recontre” further saws and hacks at her voice as if in a desire to reduce it to the same rough textures as the accompanying soundscapes. Partir’s percussives battle with enemies unknown. Throughout there remains just the edge of melody like a haunting spirit which resolutely refuses to bleed. “Apartimiento” is angular and strange with Imbert anxious, prayerful and seemingly on the edge of a delicate dementia.

The cornerstone for this music seems to be Markus Popp’s Oval, particularly his recent project with Eriko Toyedn under the name of So. There’s something more spacious and less dense about Partir though, particularly in the last third or so of its 50 plus minutes. There’s also more room to contemplate the corrupted outlines of other references. In the wreckage of Braille’s songform, traditional instruments such as drums, guitars and woodwinds are marginally easier to discern. Their forms persist like the skeletal hull of a shipwrecked vessel whose meanings, although left to the listener to interpret, allow surer footholds than greater abstraction might allow. Worth seeking out.
Colin Buttimer
July 2004
Published by Grooves magazine