Persona - Persona [Textural Nightmares - 2015]Persona is one of the more recent projects from highly prolific & multi project linked French wall noise maker Julien Skrobek (The Killer Came From The Bronx ,Ghost, The Sandman Wears A Mask, Ruine, Butch Bag, Gasp, Ruine, etc). For this project he’s joined by his wife Charlotte, and sound wise the project is a little bit of a departure from his normal HNW/ANW setting- I guess its best described as very focused & unmoving synth texturing, which is homed down into an extremely taut & tense form. Julien himself has called it ‘either techno music or electronica for wallers’… & I guess that’s a good enough description of what we have here.
The release takes in three full length CDR’s, and each of these features a single untitled track. Each of these tracks come in around the forty to fifth minute mark, and each is as focused & unmoving as the next.
The release comes in a DVD style case, which features a monochrome cover which takes in two out of focus shapes. Inside each of the CDR’s just have a single number on them, and there’s also a minimal inlay card- this takes in the track running times, and when the tracks were recorded(April/May 2015 in Paris).
So moving onto the sonics’ within, and disc ones track is built around subtle layers of chop ‘n’ buzzing synth texture, which is underfed by a sustained drone. The main elements sort of weave out a mesh of repetitive patterns, and these textures rather brought to mind a more fixed less complex version of textures that Autechre used on Confield. Like the rest of this release, this track is best played on headphones so you can make out the very subtle layer shifts. On the whole it’s ok, but I did find my attention wondering on a few occasions- instead of feeling wholly locked down & tense through-out.
Disc two's track is built around a ominous & churning mix of similar toned juddering & rattling tones- these are all under fed by a muffled & locked down like industrial low-end synth churn. Though this track was more simplistic tonally & textural compared to the first track, I found it much more rewarding in it brooding, dark, murky churn- the whole thing felt akin to staring into a slow buzzing & vibrate mass of dense shadows. I'd say this track is my favorite of the three here.
Lastly disc three track brings together a continual line of barren & starking juddering/ rippling texture, which is underfed by a drifting/ droning in & out synth organ tonal setting. The track starts out quite effective in its brooding & gloomy intensity, but I felt over the forty five minute runtime my attention seriously waned.
I can appreciate what Julien & Charlotte are trying to create here- but I sadly found the end results more than little a mixed in quality... but that’s just my take on it. If you enjoy very minimal & incredible focused synth matter, or you’d like to hear what walled noise might sound like if it was stripped back & retooled for synth; then this may well be for you. I certainly look forward to seeing how Julien develops this sound in the future, and it’s always great to see him experimenting with-in the static sound form. I wanted to give this a mark of 2 & ½, but as we don’t do half’s I give it a 3 instead.Roger Batty