Fragments of an imaginary past

EnsembleFour years after “ Disown, Delete” (his first reference for Fat Cat, his label back then), the roving Frenchman Olivier Alary is back with a new album. Long gone are the times when Alary was still a kid devoted to cutting, scratching or burning his parent’s vinyl records to see whether they’d sound better, or the pre-adolescent who by chance found a cheap synthesiser he couldn’t help gutting, burning and subjecting to voltage excesses in search of more unusual and interesting sounds. His days as an electronic sounds manipulator were represented on “Sketch Proposals” (2000), a fascinating glitch-pop treatise, radical and naïve at the same time, that managed to attract the attention of none other than Aphex Twin (the album was released on Rephlex) and Björk (she recruited him as a remixer and occasional collaborator and he even participated in the composition of “Desired Constellation”, one of the songs on “Medula”(2004). Since then, Ensemble’s musical world has evolved towards a more serene, sober sound, adding acoustic and electronic beats to build a sort of pop ambient influenced by the orchestral nature of modern classic music.

The new full-length Ensemble recording, “Excerpts”, explores those moments in which memories of real events mix with purely imaginary ones to the point where they are indistinguishable ones. It deals with the ability of the imagination to fill the spaces real memory leaves empty. Most of the composition and recording of the album was carried out in Montreal (where he currently resides), using only acoustic instruments and objects—no software, no samplers—which explains why the album lingers, more than past references, in a space between the traditional song format and the orchestral imagery of film scores.

“Excerpts” will see the light of day on 17th January, via Fat Cat. Ensemble - “Excerpts”01. Opening 02. Things I Forget 03. Les Saisons Viennent 04. En Attendant L'Orage 05. November 22nd 06. Mirages 07. Excerpts 08. Valse Des Objets Trouves 09. Imprints 10. Envies D'Avalanches 11. Before night


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