Aymeric De Tapol - Les Horizons
When Aymeric De Tapol debuted on Vlek in 2014, with the weathered drone of Winter Dances, he planted a flag in a far flung corner of the Belgian label. Compared to dancier releases from Sagat or Lawrence Le Doux, it was a forbidding listen, but it had the humble quality that defines much of Vlek's catalog. Les Horizons explores the space more thoroughly. It's another pristine winter landscape—the sort where you can't decide whether it's bleak or pretty, and eventually settle on both. But where Winter Dances focused on sustained, gently fluctuating tones, Les Horizons' building blocks tend to be repeating loops, contemplative figures that set the frosty air in motion.
On "4H23" and "Les Attractions," metronomic synth patterns are layered into off-key swirls that might sound sinister were they not so delicate. The lengthy title track brings a muzzy drum loop and sighs of static into an asymmetric dance, before a drone swell gives the whole thing a wonderful sour radiance. The kick drum is yet more overt on "Rayon Vert," which also features one of the EP's few melodies.
Stretching to 43 minutes, Les Horizons has plenty of time to explore yet more obscure corners. "Un Mirage" sounds like the distant calls of some rare arctic mammal, and "Le Lac" is a minute of vague electrical clicks. These tracks are so fragile that it feels as if they might melt away with the first sign of spring. De Tapol ends on a firmer note: "Fin De Soirée" hits an almost grandiose sound before fading away, leaving behind the gentle crackling of ice.
Mon / 28
A2 Un Mirage
A3 Les Horizons
B1 Le Lac
B2 Rayon Vert
B3 Les Attractions
B4 Fin De Soiree