Having enjoyed & reviewed the :take: EP recently released on Three Four Records, I was curious to discover where he was coming from musically and so listening to his debut release, a split 10" with White/Lichens was the obvious next step. It is also the first release for the Parisian label.
First a few words about White/Lichens. It is a band from Chicago and they occupy the b-side with a 11 minute drone guitar track, loud and noisy, cold and epic, with psychedelic accents. My interest for this type of music is very limited so I won't insist.
Jérôme Boutinot has divided his a-side into two tracks "Paysage avec fer" and "Joie de résistance". "Paysage avec fer" is a very minimal, abstract and cold drone, but looks like a dead end, there is something really static in it, like looking at a grey wall or at a small patch of sky between buildings in a city. It's not surprising that it's a direction he abandoned for his next EP in favor of something more refined and climatic.
At the opposite, ""Joie de résistance" prefigures the nicest side of his solo EP. Sensitive, atmospheric and melancholic guitar instrumental, later adjoined a scintillating loop in the background. The Loren Connors influence can be obvious but each chord and each note really belongs to Jérôme Boutinot and he draws a very personal emotional and subtle landscape and brings us to an unexpected subtle height. Like "Touche" or "L'endroît du crâne paisible" on his EP, "Joie de résistance" is a composition to keep preciously, and the highlight of this split 10".
You can feel he is searching, giving weight to every line, approaching evanescent feelings of regrets, doubt and grace. Such an artistic journey is fragile and precious and the next developments are then fervently waited, with apprehension and strong hope.