Music Review: Les Halles – Zephyr

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Les Halles

Zephyr

[Not Not Fun; 2018]

Rating: 3/5

Horizon, distance, mirage. Horizon, distance, mirage.

It’s as if you could listen to the photosynthesis of freakishly huge flowers found only in humongous rainforests. Or being in a limit, or a perimeter, or a forcefield, or a shield. It’s the sound of a period of absence that lasts — and is — a lifetime. An edge of a world. A landscape of quantum foam, where you finally step away from the center of the world, willfully. It’s the slipping away of life, of ego, of time. In the mountains, in a veil, in a clarity, where monks meditate and the Instagram accounts are wordy, motivating, and positive. And even beyond that. There is suffering even in this bliss. We are all in flight from reality; life readies you for not living. Our mutual misunderstanding of ourselves and of others means that music hinges on vast approximation. No consensus, just interpretation. The miasma of our brainlessness as we prowl the hours, trying not to stray off the chosen path. Chaosmosis, from one genre of music to the next, our emotions and bodies constantly changing. “In order to actualize a possibility, a disentangling potency is needed,” says the Italian philosopher Franco Berardi. To disentangle yourself, listen to Zephyr. Listen to it as if it were wind or warm weather or water. Ask yourself: Does a guru have time for Facebook? (Does the Pope?) What’s an ego to an ambient musician? (And do they listen to pop music?) Can your lifelong struggle to render yourself compatible with capitalism end? Can it? We always have to come down from our high. Zephyr knows that, and thusly contains New Age’s Fatal Flaw: that an emancipative illusion can only haunt the music, but never actualize. Moreover, anxiety lurks in the euphoria, because the euphoria is timed. A void guzzles the void. The abyss smiles at your skull. Ghosts all agleam wander with their aching. And when we enter Heaven, we have to pay an entrance fee.

Horizon, distance, mirage. Horizon, distance, mirage.

Zephyr by Les Halles

Les Halles unveils new album Zephyr, out this May on Not Not Fun

This post was originally published on this site

Lyon, France-based musician Baptiste Martin is emphatically NOT not-fun: the dude makes new music out of old tapes of flute and panpipe under the nom-de-electroacoustic composition Les Halles (which is “The Halls” in English, for you brutes who don’t know French; the name may or may not be borrowed from Paris’ long since demolished fresh fish market of the same name). AND: he even has a new album called Zephyr blowing gently into the world on May 4 via Not Not Fun.

Zephyr follows a yearlong “sabbatical” from recording for Martin, and it’s also the first record he’s made entirely with a computer. His last release, 2016’s, Transient, was pretty well-liked here in TMT-land, and we published an interview with Martin a few months after its release.

Martin describes the new music on Zephyr evoking “landscapes with almost no human traces.” The album’s nine tracks are titled with the words “horizon,” “distance,” and “mirage,” which all bear the distinction not only of being very idiomatically appropriate, new age-y words; but also of being words that are the same in both English and French. (You’re welcome, you uni-lingual boobs!)

To start the non-non-fun as soon as possible, you may pre-order Zephyr here. But be forwarned: in addition to digital, it’s also coming out on a crazy-limited vinyl edition of 100 (and the vinyl comes with a bonus cassette of reinterpreted tracks), so don’t sleep. Check out “First distance,” an advance track from Zephyr, down below while you wait.

Zephyr by Les Halles

Zephyr tracklisting:

01. First Horizon
02. Second Horizon
03. First Distance
04. First Mirage
05. Second Distance
06. Third Horizon
07. Final Horizon
08. Final Distance
09. Final Mirage