In the past few decades, a certain ‘school’ of electronic music has come out of France that is particularly endearing and bears a certain kind of smooth charm – even we could say sophisticated – compared to the bulk of electronic music being produced these days. Among the bands who have put that specific mark on the map are Air, Stereolab (thanks to the participation of French artists Laetitia Sadier and Morgane Lhote in the group), and Telepopmusik.
Today we are pleased to introduced you to yet one more artist deserving of inclusion among the highest rank of clever French electronica-makers – this is Toulouse-based artist Astrobal with music from his new EP ‘Memories of Stars’, which is being released through German label Karaoke Kalk.
Although this is really the solo project of producer Emmanuel (Emma) Mario, he often features vocalists (and sometimes sings himself) on numerous tracks. For the previous album ‘Australasie’, most tracks featured Nina Savary with her unmistakable penetrating vocals. This time around, the new EP features Laetitia Sadier.
But don’t be surprised – he has collaborated and produced some of the country’s most cutting edge artists, including several albums by Laetitia Sadier, Arnaud Fleurent-Didier, Holden, Institut, Monade, Hyperclean. and Iko Chérie. Emma Mario’s work as a producer and drummer for Laetitia Sadier has left an enduring legacy, rendering some of the most singular work from the iconic French chanteuse, including ‘The Trip’ (2010) and ‘Something Shines’ (2014), as well as the latest ‘Find Me Finding You’ album from Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble, not to mention her side project Monade. He’s been extremely busy this year, touring as part of the Ensemble and often opens the show as Astrobal.
The album is aqueous, each track a slow wave building, with clean lines and fluid form. Symphonic strings and ethereal ambient washes are married to buzzing synths and Astrobal’s crisp, crackling drums. Though eclectic, Astrobal presents a cohesive vision, with the guiding principles of texture and fluidity uniting the disparate threads. Astrobal creates a universe one can swim around in – from start to finish, the particular mood always beholden to the vibe. One leaves his dream world having lived a unique experience laced with sonic and solar dreamrry.
‘Memories of Stars’ is slated for release on November 24, but you can already pre-order the EP through Bandcamp.