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BOA ft. Mathieu Deranlot - Merci Pierre (Firescope Records, 2020)

Mysterious planetary messages and subterranean murmurings join forces on this never ending epic from Firescope.

Firescope certainly do have it going on when it comes to top notch electronica releases. Looking back through their discography, its hard to not be enticed by the beautiful and varied experiences on offer, that do so much to delve right into the beating heart of a wide variety of genres to bring forth enriching vibrancies that send waves through contemporary music. A sub genre of the legendary B12 label, the founders Steve Rutter and Mike Golding hold special places amongst the pantheon of dance music greats from the 90s, and that brilliance is spilling over into the contemporary landscape. As B12, the pair crafted some mind bending releases, with such timeless classics as 'Electro-Soma' from 93' and 'TimeTourist' from 96', they added enormously to the ever evolving IDM and progressive techno collectiveness, with tracks that create ripples with their intuitiveness and their spread of range and tone. The B12 label was home to some fantastic releases to their various aliases, such as Musicology's 'Outlook' EP and the various Redcell EPs from throughout the years. After some time away, Rutter founded the sub label Firescope, and since 2016 has been pushing some top quality releases in keeping with their efforts under B12. Alongside their own releases, the pair have welcomed other heavy weights such as Derek Carr, John Shima and Miles Atomspheric, with the vibe focused on the expansive and the eternally hypnotic. Its the wonderful evolution from the 90s to the present day that means these labels retain a special place in our hearts.

Now we drawn focus to their latest release, a collaboration between BOA and Mathieu Deranlot, 'Merci Pierre'. BOA, a trio of musicians in Behzad Ghorbani, Amarou Martinez and Guillaume Auguet, affiliated with Concrete and Dynamite Records, link up with Mathieu Deranlot, a classically trained musician to create something truly special within this brilliant EP. A record that moves through the sonic galaxies with ease, it blends the kind of blended excellence that is associated with the highest quality IDM, but brings in much progressiveness that it moves the music and the atmospheres from the deep thinking to the astral sailing. Each cut, with long running times, looks to spread itself out as far and wide as possible, setting new boundaries within itself, and blowing the cobwebs in the mind to deliver as powerful an experience as possible. So lets jump into this.

The EP begins off with 'Nitro', and we get things off to a nice old start. Cosmic wavelengths move in and around an emotive bedrock of tripped out synth pads, as if the track is representing a flower head opening up for the first time. From afar, the landscape expands and contracts, the deep hum and chug of a bass line moving into play, looking to find its place amongst the orchestra of sounds. The bass moves front and centre, the pads becoming more washed out and hazy, the chug revolving around a few notes. The swirling backdrop builds and recedes, as it continues its slow build up towards places beyond. The chug gets filtered, allowing itself to be mirrored by a higher pitched line, resembling that of two forces respecting one another. The sound swells to include some form of hypnotic beat element, but never taking away from the overly powerful use of melodic elements. An absolute stunner. Up next comes 'Lumiere Electronique', and this one keeps the vibes burnin'. The chugs continue, with some backdrop music giving a colourful background for the beats to take us away too. The beat has a slowed electro feel to it, giving a solid amount of breathing space for the layers upon layers of sound to really give it all they got. The drums move away for a minute, as we really delve into all the feels. Violin esq sounds, deep and beautiful pads, swirling natural noises, and that ever present chug, giving it all so much to move around from. This swirling hypnotic melodic break then gives way for the drums again, as the track keeps moving forward, always. The subtle intros of various elements give this track so much life, a small world of actions, notions and connections provide us with such a fulfilling experience, just taking a step back to marvel at all that can be found within this tune.

Next comes the title track, that takes the riddims through once again. More hazy and in depth, the precision is there, with a beautiful wee bass line thrown in there to follow it on. The drums move away for a second to introduce some mesmerising synth work, before moving into the next phase. The drums continue forward, the synths replaced with some smaller more fleeting keys, as they work double time to replicate the feeling of the deeper pads. Don't worry, they come back with more meaning than before, just adding to the emotional weight of the track. The drums very much feel like some form of relentless motion, constantly driving forward, whilst the keys and pads represent the skies over an ocean. The beats the water, the keys the sky, constantly in a state of flux but having a wonderful feel of rigidity and form to it. Fantastic stuff. Finally, to wrap this one up, we have 'Nuit'. This one begins in a different territory, the sounds of little key lines and sequences form the intro. To join in, we hear the distant pads come into play, filling up the middle ground, before solo lines join in as a lovely contrast to the solidness of the singular chords. The pulse develops via the lightest of kicks, heard from the mountain tops over yonder. To say the track evokes visions of never ending vistas and extraordinary terrains is an understatement. The sounds stretch out as far as the eye can see, beyond even that, to places that we can perhaps only wonder about. This track really sums up the ambitions of the music, of the musicians involved, in trying to create music that simply resides in places which we want to search for and simply try to grasp. It may take multiple listens, but we might get there one day. Breathtaking stuff.

This record feels as much a visual experience as it is a sensory one. A collection of tunes that conjure up images from far and wide, expansiveness just found a new benchmark to work from. By embracing musicality, layering and above all else, the toneeeeees, these guys have made something truly remarkable. Their vision seems to have no boundary, but when they feel like it, they set the boundaries themselves, perhaps for our own benefit. A proper mental workout. We implore you to take a dip.

check the EP out here:

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