Friday, June 5, 2020

EP Review: BAUME "Un Calme entre les Tempêtes" (Independent) by Dave Wolff

Solo P
roject: Baume
Location: Paris
Country France
Genre: Post black metal
Format: Digital, Limited edition digipack, limited edition cassette
Label: Independent
Release date: April 24, 2020
The latest EP from Gaetan Juif’s solo project Baume displays his search for new post-black metal soundscapes, to sustain the viability of black metal as a musical statement and keep it rooted in the underground. All this without relying on “true” and “cult” as a collection of overused clichés, as he’d rather remain “true” by remaining true to his own ingenuity as a songwriter. Solo artists who reinvent themselves naturally, relying on inspiration alone, have the best chance of slipping into the collective consciousness of this vast network of underground music which has taken hold in every country in the world. With unsigned musicians like Juif it may take a little longer, but I suspect music like he composed for “Un Calme entre les Tempêtes” (A Calm Between the Storms) is a seed planted in your brain which sprouts when the time comes. Or more accurately a spider spinning webs unseen in your basement, laying eggs to hatch into offspring that will take over your home before you know what’s happening. “Un Calme entre les Tempêtes” stands apart from Juif’s previous EPs “L'odeur de la lumière” (2019) and “Les années décapitées” (2018) because the material is experimental, cold, atmospheric, hypnotic and otherworldly while being completely agreeable to non-black metal fans, not too abrasive or depressing. Still there is something distressing about the way Juif records and mixes this EP (as much as Jack Shirley’s mastering job), something you can’t quite place your finger on. The instruments sound like an entity lurking far away. You don’t know exactly where it is but it’s there all the same, waiting to complete its cycle of rebirth. Perhaps this passage would provide a greater understanding of then EP’s intended concept: “The sky was clear, a discreet glow. In the distance, the birds woke up in the fresh November air. The day still asleep, crossed the room, bringing back in its rays all its reality. Drowned in its light, around the ruins barely rested. Calm between sadness, recovering from its sorrows, healing its wounds, alone, until the next storm… The party is fading. The music calms down. Yet my rage does not die out and my desire remains illuminated… I dreamed that everything collapses, that everything rocks. That everything was ruined and everything burned, I dreamed under the moon.” This and the rest of the passage implies the concept here is the transition from death to rebirth, and mirrors the transitions Juif’s music is always making. –Dave Wolff

Gaetan Juif: Vocals, all instruments

Track list:
1. I.Rien ne Dure
2. II.Un Calme entre les Tempêtes
3. III.Octobre

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