Basile3 ‘Sans Retour’ EP
In the depths of a sullen, dark forest, a blinding white light emerges and grows. If the summer of 2021 could be the end of a tunnel for humankind – hopefully the end of isolation – the year that has passed has been one that put humans in their place”. It was humbling to be shown so clearly the limits of our power over nature, and it should have taught humankind a valuable lesson in our treatment of our environment. Basile3’s new EP “Sans Retour” (eng.: ‘”without return”) carries that “sense of place“: his music lives between the organic and the hyper-artificial, expanding scenes before the minds eye that feel familiar yet futuristic. Like a floating, glowing white egg cracking open in between the trees, revealing a dark fate or a future full of potential. That may be entirely up to us: humankind.
The EP opener “Expanse” feels like the soundtrack to that scene, the initial contact of a sci-fi epic unfolding in our ears. Field recordings that Basile3 made in the year of isolation are paired with ominous, ever growing synth lines – shimmering, brooding, foreboding. The hopeful arpeggios let us know about the duality of the moment: is the visitor friend or foe?
“Sans Retour” is the clubbiest of the tracks, very “in your face” as Basile3 calls it himself: “I think that having very expressive tracks is a way for me to project into a more intense fantasized life than what reality has been for months.“ But even here, between glitching percussion and otherworldly melodies, there is an organic core: our bare feet are still touching the soft, familiar moss floor of the forest while things unfold before our eyes that no man on earth has seen before.
What this year has been is universal and hyper-specific at the same time – experiences were shared across the world, while the real, lived consequences still had to be dealt with by each and every one individually. One of those experiences was “Abundance Is A Myth” As life came to a full stop, the abundance of possibilities, goods, freedoms we had taken for granted collapsed in front of our eyes. If this track is the soundtrack to that moment, its ecstasy bears a warning undertone.
Basile3’s previous EP ‘Ciel Rouge’ made use of the human voice in many different ways – coming to the close of the record, he comes full circle on these ideas. In “The Oxygen, The Walk, The Dreamer And The Bird“ we hear a whispering voice tell us of a dreamlike walk through the woods, while manipulated and pitched voices combine with field recordings and pads to create a state of lucid dreaming.
A new version of “Ciel Rouge“ with Simili Gum, the title track of the previous EP, closes out “Sans Retour“, and actually was the starting point of this new body of work. When working on a short edit of the track for a video, Basile3 discovered untapped energies within the track: „When i started doing the editing I brought new elements in the track and ended up changing the synth melodies. I was really excited about it and flipped the whole original track, and Simili Gum wrote a new verse for the second part“ The new version is the “Spring Mix”, brighter and catchier yet still with an air of impressionistic intimacy. The lyrics tell us about the need to travel new paths after a relationship, and the willingness to take on the risk of accidents along those roads.