CHRISTOPHE BAILLEAU: Air Resort (Soundscaping Records)


Posted on May 5th 2009 09:55 pm

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Christophe Bailleau: Air Resort

Air Resort
Soundscaping Records 2008
07 Tracks. 52mins59secs

Having been a member of various rock formations in the nineties, French-born, Belgium-based multimedia artist Christophe Bailleau began releasing music under his own name in 2003, and has since, collaborated with artists as diverse as Sebastien Roux, Won or Neal Williams. Beside his musical activities, he also directs short films and creates audiovisual installations for a wide range of events and locations.

The inaugural release from Norwegian imprint Soundscaping Records, Air Resort, Bailleau’s fourth solo album, is a beautiful collection of atmospheric music where sounds form in exquisite fluid sequences, each totally self-contained, yet is connected, often in subtle way, to the others, ensuring a consistent mood throughout the seven tracks presented here. The album opens with the shimmering Yoshi Island, with its delicate bell-like tones, constantly revolving loops and cloudy backdrop, which slowly develop to incorporate more treated sounds as the piece progresses, and accentuate its hypnotic effect. This principle is applied repeatedly throughout the album, each time in a different way. Meli-Melo, which follows, is a much darker and more introspective composition which relies, in its first half, on denser sounds, which are pretty constantly poked with electronics to give the overall piece a more textured aspect. In its second half, the mood lifts slightly as an acoustic guitar comes forward, but it soon disappears again, swallowed by an opaque sonic cloud.

While the album never falls into such dark territory again, closing piece Coloriiage opens on a somewhat thick sonic fog, but as the piece progresses, light shades slowly burn through the heavy ceiling to reveal magnificent pastoral formations toward the end. Elsewhere, Bailleau offers much more evocative moments, especially on the superb Silence Cadeau, which, after a seemingly almost static phase, gathers rich textures and tones, or Je Te Laisse Des Messages Sur Ton Décodeur, a composition recorded with Sebastien Roux. The pair create a superb evolving structure, tirelessly bringing gritty components to add relief and definition. Small Village On The Hill appears to draw some elements from the cyclic electronic forms pioneered in early Krautrock experiments, but, instead of channelling the album into a radically different terrain, Bailleau keeps them deep into the mix, leaving them to pulse weakly in the background. The process is repeated on the short Praw Nii, but here, the electronics are more obvious and, at one point, reinforced with a distant beat.

Air Resort is nothing short of a masterpiece, its stunning evocative soundscapes finely detailed and assembled into pieces which, while appearing gentle and understated, are in fact complex and ambitious organic jigsaws. Working from a wide spectrum of sources, Christophe Bailleau never ceases to amaze here, as he creates some of the most fascinating atmospheric music heard for some time.


Icon: arrow Christophe Bailleau (MySpace) | Soundscaping Records

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One Response to “CHRISTOPHE BAILLEAU: Air Resort (Soundscaping Records)”

  1. […] published on Burgeoning Norwegian imprint Soundscaping, following on from last year’s excellent Air Resort by Christophe Bailleau. Recorded during a three-day drive from California to Mississippi in January […]