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Fosse - Étrange Crépuscule [Seppuku Tapes - 2019]

After to been dominant for three to four years Étrange Crépuscule was the resurrection of Fosse- one of the many projects of respected & prolific French noise maker Julien Skrobek. This 2019 release is a C40 featuring two side long examples of atmospheric walled noise- that’s often quite building/active in their unfold.

The black shelled tape features sliver sharpie writing on one side, then this comes in a monochrome sleeve that takes in a moody/ slightly creepy photo of a huge collapsed wooden farm barn. I’m not sure what edition this tape came in, so I’m not sure if it’s still available- and like much of Skrobek- this is not available digitally anywhere.

So on side A we have “Part 1” this begins with a narrow, thin & pared backline of jagged crackle- as the track progresses this becomes more dense 'n' ragged, with around the two-minute mark we get the addition of a line of extreme grainy & wiry jittering. As the minute's tick by Skrobek subtly manipulates both textures in a very grimly moody manner- and in one's mind I get images of sudden thunder struck late summer nights & downpours of chilled rain, hinting at the turn in season…maybe one is taking shelter in the barn on the release front cover, and something seems slightly creepily amiss. By the nine-minute mark, the grainy texture has faded, and we’re left with the now even more ragged crackle- underneath we get this distant eerie knocking & spinning tone which is rather lo-fi & creepy in it's industrial intent. By the 11th minute, we get the addition of a new grainy & thinner winter jitter, and this nicely mixes in with the more active knocking tone- with of course the now even more ragged crackle on top- the remainder of the track finds more effectively subtle, though at moments quite chilling shifting of textures occurring. This first side is a real masterful example of atmospheric wall matter- with Skrobek building & shifting the textures in such a compelling, and at times damn creepy manner.

Flipping over the tape & we have “Part 2”- and as with the first side it starts off very reduced & thin, with a line of grainy/ weedy jitter. Fairly soon we get the addition of this rumbling ‘n’ almost swimming like tone, which sounds akin to something large making its way through deep murky waters. By the third minute, both textures have become fairly rapid in their intent, and just when you think it could possibly explode into a very dense & intense ‘wall’ Skrobek cuts out the rumble- with just the rapid jitter left, though fairly soon he replaces it with another murky & aquatic tone- this seems wider & more swooping than the first as if whatever was swimming deep down is coming up. As the track moves on from this point he skillful fades out first one murky tone selection, before launching into another- and each time this happens these murky tones seem wider & at times less easy to define. Around the mid waypoint in the track, we get an accelerating billowing which fairly soon spreads out into a hissing feel, but once again this fades fairly soon with the line of jitter just been left again- the rest of the track sees the addition then subtract of various textures to the constantly  now rattling jitter. This track is once again a skillful bit of noise-making, personally, I wasn't as keen as the first track as it did seem to thematically fit in with the other track- and it lacked the atmospheric building/ mood of the first sides track.

For the last, nine or so years Skrobek  has built up an impressive body of mainly quilty bound work- that is more often than not pushing & pulling at the creative strings of the walled noise genre. As a release, Étrange Crépuscule is certainly at the more atmospheric ends of his work- with the first track been one of the best examples I've heard of more moody/ active wall craft in some time, and the second been good enough too…it just, to me didn't feel thematically linked to the other track, the releases title, or it’s artwork.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Roger Batty
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