Pascal Savy | Colour Fields
French artist Pascal Savy drops us into a dense cloud of foggy drones on his new album Colour Fields. This is his second album this year, following Dislocations on the Experimedia label, which plotted a similar route through amorphous drifting sounds.
This new collection is released by the Belgian record label Audio.Visual.Atmosphere. It’s opening track is entitled “Shapes of A Mirage”, and is aptly named as a slow, spectral drone adds layers of low key noise and hints of quiet strings to the mix.
“Phantom Absence” continues this theme, both in its title and sound palette. Washes of static hiss that could be synthetic or actual recordings of ocean waves ebb and flow throughout, dotted with little plucks that decay into the distance.
Savy exercises restraint on every track, each one concise and to the point. Sounds are delicately placed and layers subtly added, nothing here feels cluttered or overcooked. This economy of sounds works well in this context, especially as most tracks have a reasonably short duration. “At The Coming of Twilight” is the shortest of all, just shy of three minutes, yet manages to evoke emotion in its combination of ambient hiss and glowing synth drones, some of which are saturated with just enough grit to give it an edge.
These pieces may drift, but they aren’t always soft, as Savy extracts ever so slightly noisy textures from his tape loops, feedback and found sounds. This is most evident on “Lost in A Mesh of Time”, where weird, pitched-down field recordings groan under layers of tape hiss and warm tones float on a dark river into echoing underworlds. Reminiscent of Lull’s early work, I really enjoyed the melancholic feel of this piece, heavy but not oppressive.
Final track “Three Moons Aligned” forgoes the short duration format and stretches out into a long form piece of 28 minutes. There are more low end frequencies going on here, with occasional plumes of treble escaping through the bass fog. About 10 minutes in, the throbbing drone drops away, replaced by lighter tones and cassette hiss, creating a shifting soundscape. Harmonic synths fade in and out, and the track continues to build in drama with breathy tones overlapping until the whole thing ends with simple, wobbly loops repeating over and over. Once it ends, and silence fills the room, I imagine these loops are still repeating somewhere, in their own space and time.