Feedbacks are unanimous about "La Jetée d'Orly" and you won't find a negative word from us as much as we enjoyed this masterpiece! Returning with his second solo outing to date on Bass Agenda Recordings, Franck Kartell (New Flesh Records, Romance Moderne, Ukonx Recordings) signs here an electronic album of high level where he showcases his unlimited propensity to dark atmospheres.
Besides the fact the album pays homage to Chris Marker's eponymous B&W dystopian film released in 1962, and captures the essence of its short story dealing with a post-nuclear war experiment in time travel, this L.P. marks a turning point on Franck's career and sounds a bit different from his debut album "Afterlife" published last year, on the same label.
Delivering highly untouchable tunes where the French fuses his Drexciyan influences to his own music, the album offers by far a more introspective approach, halfway between cold and fragile compositions, with a visionary and mature twist: that's why it shouldn't be considered as a follow-up as the French successfully tries to escape from his usual Electro standards, meeting there the latest minimalist concept of Boris Divider, in a totally different style. Perfect balance between sinister tracks calibered for the dancefloor and catchy home listening laments, "La Jetée d'Orly" offers deep analogue textures with intricate ambience, from despairing depths to shinny aesthetics.
Introducing the first track of the opus, organic "Marqué par une Image d'Enfance" builds up a gate to a gloomy universe recently devastated by a dramatic event. The title track follows with luminous melodies a la Kraftwerk over a slow syncopated rhythm and some clinical beats.
Morbid "Experiences Temporelles" depicts a creepy landscape thanks to the use of deep synth sequences and tense but sparse snares, some glitchy abstract touches laying down in the background.
The light comes from "Le Souvenir d'un Visage", an emotive interlude made of crystal clear layers.
Soulful "Rencontre sur la Jetée", one of my favs, serves up another dancefloor cut based upon cosmic waves and heading loops.
Soundtrack-inspired "Le Cinquantième Jour" offers a sensitive journey through space characterized by eerie and experimental tonalities; this stratospheric jewel without beat is instantly followed by retro "Derriere les Portes du Future", a vibrant combination of 80's synth programming and IDM reminiscences over clinical drums.
Final track "L'Evade du Temps" returns to an unhealthy and fearsome atmosphere based upon heading arpeggios which open to another twilight.
Carefully written and scientifically constructed like a drawing from French best SciFi illustrator Manchu, remarkable "La Jetée d'Orly"; perfectly illustrated by graphic designer Laurent Chedmail, appears as a great record and a future classic limited to 250 copies worldwide. If you're lucky enough to find one, don't hesitate, 'cause vinyl will be your only way to listen to the opus (no digital release), and enter into this much advanced world. Must have!
Written by: Chris Nexus 6