Faures: Continental Drift
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The idea of three geographically dispersed individuals collaborating on a joint project isn't a new idea necessarily, but Continental Drift, the album produced by Faures—Berliner René Margraff (aka Pillowdiver), Montreal resident Samuel Landry (aka Le Berger), and Singapore-based Fuzz Lee (aka Elintseeker)—adds an interesting twist to the idea. Drawing inspiration from Alfred Wegener's book The Origin of Continents and Oceans, Lee asked himself to what degree a musician's personality might be influenced by his/her environment and, with that in mind, invited Margraff and Landry—all situated on different continents—to participate in a musical experiment involving a three-way creative process. To that end, each was enlisted to produce two tracks or samples, which were then passed on to the next musician for further development, and which were then passed on once again to the third participant (with the stipulation that the tracks would only be worked on once for each musician).

As it turns out, the experiment's outcome is such that one could take Continental Drift to be the work of a single individual, so seamless is its overall presentation and character. That's not a criticism of the material, by the way, merely an acknowledgement of the forty-one-minute album's cohesiveness. Perhaps the result can be attributed to a kindred stylistic sensibility shared by the three contributors prior to the project's inception. Regardless, the music unfolds with a distinctive and well-calibrated grace, no matter whether one or three individuals were involved in its creation.

The album's six settings are less static drones than electroacoustic ambient reveries whose washes of delicate drift soothe the listener. Though no instrumentation is identified, some sound generators can be identified, among them guitar, piano, and electronics, the combination of which produces a luscious tonality that is in certain moments celestial. It's not monochromatic, however: the album's narrative arc sees it rising dramatically during the fifth setting, the heavily vaporous “Asthenospheric Movement III.” Presumably generated by guitar, metallic timbres swell in volume and intensity throughout its eleven-minute run, making for a particularly mesmerizing soundscape. As engaging is the album's most aggressive piece, the closer “Magnetic Striping,” which unfurls an electrified thrum of barely controlled rumble that feels as if it might detonate at any moment.

January 2014