Millimetrik: Fog Dreams
Though Pascal Asselin (aka Millimetrik) doesn't reside in France, there's still a strong French connection between him and the Chez Kito Kat label. Asselin makes his home in Québec City, Québec, where the electronic beatmaker produces trip-hop, ambient-IDM, house, and dusty instrumentals using a laptop, sampler, and live drums.
When not creating Millimetrik tracks, Asselin drums in the stoner rock outfit Les Indiens (The Indians), which in itself helps account for the punchy bottom end that gives such a strong kick to many a Fog Dreams production. It's Millimetrik, though, that is his major concern, the project having begun in 2000 and obviously still going strong. Asselin cites Boards of Canada and DJ Shadow as two influences, and true enough one encounters the occasional fingerprint of artists such as these on the thirty-nine-minute collection.
Things get off on the good foot right away when a thudding groove kicks “Rêves brumeux autour de Lana Del Rey” into gear, its muscular pulse sweetened with smatterings of ambient ear candy and vocal accents. Following upon that fog dream, Asselin gets by with a little help from his friends, Maude Audet, King Abid, and Frannie Holder the ones stopping by to add vocals to individual tracks.
King Abid's drawling MC turn helps differentiate “Peninsula Mist I” from the other cuts without stinting on the recording's beat-based thrust in the process (the related “Peninsula Mist II” largely strips away the vocal for an exercise in skank-heavy boom-bap); Holder's hushed voice, on the other hand, is a natural fit for the slightly mellower vibe Asselin pursues in the heavily atmospheric title cut. He even works in a nod to house with the breezy swing of the closer “Prélude imaginé,”Vocal appearances notwithstanding, Fog Dreams is more often than not an instrumental beatmaker project, one that effectively documents Asselin's skills as a sound designer and electronic composer (check out the luscious, IDM-inflected atmospherics of “La dualité du temps” as an example). It also shows his good feel for timing (a skill not every producer possesses) as each of the tracks sticks around just long enough to make a case for itself before stepping aside.