Baclou by Moloch Conspiracy

Moloch Conspiracy | Baclou
Eighth Tower Records (CD/DL)

Recorded on a trip to French Guiana this is Moloch Conspiracy‘s follow-up to last year’s The Cave of Metaphysical Darkness & Lights – also on Eighth Tower Records, which we covered almost to the day in 2018. Here he is veering through swampy jungles and combining the engaging earthly noises with a signature dronescape. His tact here is to fuse a low-res harmony with the great outdoors, as dark as these spaces may be. It’s as haunting as it is a mellow head-trip. In a moment you are enraptured in silky ambience, the next there’s something akin to the screech of a train in midtown Manhattan, many leagues underground.

Peppered with the essence of cinematic nightmares that are as fleeting as dust, Baclou tends to writhe like a garden snake most of the time (or perhaps he captured the live slithering of a tree boa?). This is one of those soundtrack adjacent recordings that tingles the spine, one where you are constantly distracted by anticipation of what’s around the very next corner. The listener will appreciate the active highs and lows here, never resting on the laurels of a “nice sound” too long, instead Moloch Conspiracy (Julien Lacroix) finds a way to place gongs and rain in the nuanced mix as if they were lost and found smack dab in the middle of the rainforest. In fact, these qualities make the title track one of the biggest highlights on this disc.

The atmosphere is gorged in the spirit of magical illusion. Lacroix offers passages that are both foggy and transparent, sleek and arenaceous, textures that are are ever-evolving. The only place where this loses it way is on the aptly titled Intermede, which somewhat flatlines, being neither here nor there. The fusion of insect life and industrialism grows and emotes and metamorphosizes on the tension-filled Signals which begins a direction, as a means to an end.

And as for happy endings, don’t expect one. Fire in the night is illuminated in the way fireflies dot and float through the air in the wee hours. The piece goes wayward, a bit crusty, awakening beings with an off-kilter tribal beat that flees from back to mid-ground as mysterious effects are added loosely, with intent to stun. Man and nature collide in a ritualistic serenade to that which lays beyond our consciousness. A stylish and sly record that riles the senses awake.

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