Monday, April 06, 2020

Philippe Petit - Do Humans Dream Of Electronic Ships [Opa Loka Records]

Put on the circuit in 2CD album format via Opa Loka Records on February 10th, 2k20 is Philippe Petit's newest longplayer titled "Do Humans Dream Of Electronic Ships". Produced as an homage to the famous 'Blade Runner: Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep' the first part of the album features five fully shaped compositions rolled out over the course of roughly 45 minutes whereas the second CD spans a little more than an hour, containing a total of two live pieces / one take recordings of which "Laika In Space" covers the vast majority of runtime clocking in at roughly 52 minutes. With pieces like "The Journey" or "Landing - Immersion", the two opening cuts for CD1, we see Philippe Petit paving the way for things to come, employing a wide range of electroacoustic and modular synthesis techniques to build up a somewhat retro-futuristic scorescape comprised of many references harking back to the early days of electronic music production in test labs, bringing forth wild sweeps, bleeps, swipes and swampy modulation with a grainy, slightly vintage aesthetic that builds the foundation for the entire album which also could've originated in the sacred halls of BBC's Radiophonic Workshop or other dedicated places of this era. Yet, despite being highly experimental in his music, Philippe Petit surely manages to tell somewhat of a sonic story, triggering one's imagination with tension and relief, the intricate interplay of various layers produced by the Buchla Easel V, Moogerfooger or an Electric Psalterion and many others, providing a score for a sci-fi movie flic that never came to be and even introduces sequences of Score Noir leaning piano-romanticism in "Return Is Tomorrow... Is This The End?". On the other hand, the two live pieces on CD2 are coming in at a more raw angle immanent to their 'no overdubs' approach and do present a fascinating, yet darker, brooding and partly slightly threatening facet of Philippe Petit's work in retrofuturist sci-fi music and UnAmbient with "Why Do Birds" even weighing in a good portion of humour in presenting a tripped out, chirping vibe. Go check.

Album artwork on Instagram!


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