The idea of Régimbeau embarking on a sweeping ambient record during the Paris attacks recalls the electronic music folklore surrounding William Basinski's The Disintegration Loops. Shortly after completing the album, Basinski played his decaying loops as he watched the Twin Towers burn in the Manhattan skyline. Whatever the context, wading through They Fall But You Don't's sea of frothy distortion feels like navigating some great emotional current, passing through grief, anger and resolution.
The first half of the album—split into six parts, each prefixed with "vivere," Italian for "to live"—takes Mondkopf's familiar palette of dark colours and prickly textures and splatters them onto ambient canvases. Choppy modular sounds, like the thwack of helicopter blades, turn almost deafening over funereal melodies on the second part. Elsewhere, the sounds descend like a smokescreen, or swell gradually in the vein of the doom metal band YOB.
By the time you get to the fourth movement's nine-minute drone, They Fall But You Don't can seem oppressive, but it's worth being patient: the hopeful turn at "Vivere, Parte V" marks some of the most beautiful music Régimbeau has ever made. It begins with bright melodies before transforming into a beautifully exploratory section redolent of the ambient passages of David Bowie's Berlin Trilogy. In the finale, a child chatters away in Italian as a happy refrain bubbles up, bringing the album to a feel-good denouement, a veritable Hollywood ending.
Those final passages present a wider emotional range than any past Mondkopf work. Where Régimbeau has long been obsessed with the darker corners of dance music, here he looks past the fire and brimstone at what lies beyond those negative emotions—the redemption that can come after reckoning with pain. There's a poignancy to They Fall But You Don't that makes it almost operatic in scope and cinematic in power.