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Derviche (Brochard & Favriou) - Murs Absurdes

Thomas Mellish, The Squid's Ear


A few years ago, Eric Brochard and Fabrice Favriou released Derviche which was one of the first albums that I reviewed for this website. Over and above this sentimental reason, Derviche sticks out in my mind because the cascades of sounds contained within it constantly flow over the listener, refusing to stagnate for even a moment. Naturally, then, I jumped at the chance to listen to Murs Absurdes when I saw that Brochard and Favriou had released it.

In 'Sequence VI,' Brochard and Favriou hark back to their self-titled debut. This track consists of a cycle which begins with thumping percussive hits that coalesce to form a suffocating blanket of sound. And, with the very real prospect of asphyxiation rapidly approaching, some jagged strummed chords pierce this smothering vail. You rapidly attempt to catch your breath; the cycle will begin again soon.

'Sequence VII' begins with an intertwining of muted chords and timid cymbal hits which lasts for a few fleeting moments. These sullen instruments slowly become increasingly emboldened to the point that an atonal apotheosis is reached, whereby dissonant chords shimmer over percussive paroxysms. Sets of self-assured chords bark at the drums and demand for the latter to be quiet. The track concludes with these obsequious drums cowering in the background, not daring to make a sound, whilst these chords arrogantly saunter through the silence.

Much like 'Sequence V,' both 'Sequence IX' and 'Sequence X' are redolent of Brochard and Favriou's eponymous debut. In the former, the sequences that comprise it hang and dart around the listener as if they were a swarm of particularly virulent insects. In the latter, metronomic percussive thuds underscore throbbing chords to create a soundtrack that is befitting of a military march. After marching its troops to the point of battle, the track resolves to silence. Unto the breach once more, dear friends.

Murs Absurdes is a head scratcher; no epithets can (or will) do justice to the richness of the sounds contained within it. And, by this, I of course mean that Murs Absurdes is the ideal successor to Brochard and Favriou's self-titled debut. Will these two ever drop the ball? Doubt it.