At a point where genres merge and meld. In a place where labels and musical pigeon-holes lose their meaning. Neither looking back to past glories nor trying to build a new feature. This is where you find Deckard Croix in general and this album in particular. It doesn’t follow fad or fashion, seems oblivious to the zeitgeist and if ever it learned the rules it was only to understand how and when they could be bent, broken and twisted to the artist’s own sonic vision.
You can occasionally manage to find a word or two that defines what’s going on here. There is definitely an element of psychedelia in the more driven moments, and ambience in its quieter corners but after that, it seems to be unsecondguessable, ever-changing, and always challenging.
Nine tracks, labelled Un to Neuf just to make things easy, wander electronic landscapes and digital realms, seeking adventure, full of the spirit of sonic exploration. Un is a blend of chiming electronic and pulsing beats, sometimes seeming to have a purposeful destination, at others side-tracked into tangental ecstasy and sonic side-quests. Trois is a blend of soulful vibes and busy percussion, slightly oriental riffs and occidental club beats.
Cinq has something of the original Blade Runner soundtrack feel about it, a reimagining, perhaps, of the Vangelis masterpiece but where the soundtrack for the sequel ventured into more deft and drifting soundscapes, here Croix goes the other way and moves into more energetic and euphoric realms. I’ll leave you, the reader, to make any connection between the artist’s name and that of the film’s protagonist!
Six wanders between skittering, glitchy percussion and clubland struts, Huit is full of futuristic menace and Neuf plays us out with a song seemingly one part ambient space noise and one part field recordings from perhaps under a cave system or from the top of a mountain.
With the number of albums he has to his name, Croix is obviously on a quest to push music to its limits, to jump over sonic demarkations, to fashion musical stews and let them pool and percolate into new flavours and unexpected tastes. This album is a continuation of that quest and in a world that seems all too willing to pander to expectations and comfort zones, where music is happy to follow rather than lead, where templates are adhered to and record companies rather than artists dictate the direction of travel, then it is perhaps the only quest worth pursuing.