Atone: Un An
Autres Directions In Music

My interest in Atone immediately intensifies when I recall his contribution to last year's lovely ambient collection Meadow-Cottage Industries Volume 4 from the now-defunct Neo Ouija. Having held his own amidst distinguished music-makers like Julien Neto, Praveen, Semuin, Xela, and Cepia, Antoine Monzonis-Calvet (aka Atone) now follows his 2004 Un Jour EP (A Day EP) with, naturally enough, the Un An LP (A Year LP).

Atone's delicate ambient textures and understated pulses lull the listener into deep states of reverie, as one 4-minute vignette flows into the next, ultimately creating a suite-like impression. Though moods shift from aromatic placidity (“Introduction”) to sickly, dissonant ambiance (“Rupture”) and snarling, incantatory drones (“Kaboul”), the overall feel is atmospheric, evocative, and meditative: voices faintly whisper alongside billowing, Gas-like tones and electronic clicking beats in “Cordes” while distant bird cries echoes across meditative chords during “Verset.” The music's often rustic quality derives from Atone's choice of instrumentation: rickety beats entwine with somber accordion melodies in “Accordéon,” multi-tracked melodicas blossom like opening petals in “Mélodicas,” and single lines and waves of piano chords intersect during the dramatic “Piano.” Though quiet, “Seul” impresses as one of the disc's most beautiful. Its gleaming synth tones initially exhale like the softest of breaths but then progressively swell towards a carefully modulated climax.

Though Atone's Un An LP finds a perfectly hospitable home on Autres Directions In Music, in truth an even more natural locale would be Type, considering how kin its textured soundscaping is to releases by Julien Neto, Deaf Center, Logreybeam, and Ryan Teague.

August 2006