Le marteau et l'enclume (The hammer and the anvil) by SLDGHRAM 1ER is a collection of industrial electronic tracks that use psychedelic soundscapes to build a beautiful and contradictory miasma of sound which is just as engaging during the heat of the chaos as it is during the brief moments of clarity.
The opening track, Battre l'enfer tant qu'il est chaud, opens the album by diving in at the deep end. The track focuses on building layers of rhythm and counter rhythm that fade in and out as the song progresses. They stumble and fall over each other as bright, ethereal, and alien sounds float over the top, unshaken by the wild drums that form their rhythmic foundation. Despite the constant changes, the track has an energy that it maintains through its sonic evolution. It feels indifferent to the listener, cold and uncaring.
The underwater heartmachine, a later track, has a noticeably more sinister tone. While I can imagine people dancing to the opening track, this one has a petrifying pace and palpable anxiety within the rhythm and melody. The song has switched over these two elements in the mix. The melody is repetitive while the rhythm evolves and changes. This creative choice is the inverse of what traditional songs often do. The soundscape reminded me of the creaking of a massive metal structure as it sways under its weight.
My favourite track on the album is Méduse et son rapport compliqué aux miroirs, translating roughly to Medusa and her complicated relationship with mirrors, a brilliant title. This track feels slightly more rooted in reality than some of the others. Although the drum beat is chaotic, the consistent thumping of the rhythm grounds the composition. It leans on the industrial, mechanical aspect but in a way that feels like being part of a well-oiled machine instead of a crumbling behemoth. The spacey energy in the mix does put you in your head quite a lot. This choice feels intentional, especially considering the introspective title.
Overall, the album was fascinating from beginning to end. It captivates throughout with its alien and constantly evolving sound. This album always feels one step ahead of you. I enjoyed its complex chaos.