02 November 2017 (released)
20 December 2017
We're all looking for music that tells a story. Many of us take delight in correlating the notes that are hitting our ears with the artist's journey, finding out how they expressed a certain situation without words. Biographies; auto, authorized and otherwise fly off the shelves replete with tales of escapades and tirades, high fives and swan dives. At some point, we became more obsessed with “Behind the Music” than “The Music”. If you're a music journalist, you get more band bios coming across your desk than you'd ever care to read. Most of them tell of some long forgotten accolade or name drop a famous producer paid to get his stamp on the product or wax poetic about that singer-songwriter's “unique” struggle. How refreshing then is it to come across this:
Yvan is a private person and prefers for the music to speak for itself.
If the music tells a story, maybe that's all you need.
Yvan Poisson makes abstract minimalist trip-hop. His seven-track album, Blind Experiment is a hypnotic piece that draws on cosmopolitan jazz motifs to conjure an atmosphere of cool calm mixed with a dangerous spy's intrigue. The opener “Latent Period' churns up this aura with 007 tremolo. Trumpet and flute tango like dancing opposing assassins waiting for the other to slip to make their move. The smooth bass punches in with a sly impetuousness. Bated breaths and whispered directions vanish in the breeze along with the echoing flute.
'Negative Control Procedure' clamours along with a more disjointed pace. Keys and sax burst in interrupting the mechanical flow before joining forces. A woman's gasp gets sampled alongside the sax to create a Lynchian midnight mood. The title track pops with more vigour as other creatures join the fray. The bass pounds with the beat. The game's afoot.
'Cross Tolerance' continues at a woozy pace, a feeling of being tranquilized. Reality slips in and out, Poisson toys with your perception. Soon the hallucinations work back into the fold and the hunt continues. On the closer, 'Pharmacodynamics' Poisson flips the script repeatedly keeping you from sorting out which way is up. You get spit out the other side with no clear conclusion, though you've been through a gauntlet.
Blind Experiment upon first listen is downtempo fare designed for one purpose, to provide cerebral relief. To zone out to. However, when one straps in and listens actively, a whole plethora of storylines emerge from the ink. If one only is mindful long enough, entire worlds unfold like a pop-up book.