Monochromie is back with “Enlighten Yourself While You Sleep”, a new 9-track album in the ambient/electronica/post-rock genre and the new album will surprise many listeners.
After his quiet and peaceful debut album “Angels and Demons”, the new album shines bright. As the album cover suggests, sounds emerge from an electric heaven or flash through stormy skies. The post-rock tone is accentuated with the addition of ethereal melodies played on guitars, while loud and saturated noises that transports the listener into an increasingly wild, intense and deep elsewhere.
Fluttery Records is very happy to release the second album of this gifted artist and we believe that the people who enjoyed his debut album will also enjoy this album and find new musical tastes with the new songs like Fireworks, Day and night of a scarecrow, Silence is Anger.
THIS IS NOT A SCENE / Tomas Mathie
“Oh Fluttery … how could I have ever doubted you?” These were the exact words that went through my mind this morning as I began to listen to “Enlighten Yourself While You Sleep” by Monochromie … released on Fluttery Records. After the disappointment that was “Sekai” by |**| Gate … this was almost exactly what the doctor ordered.
Inventive … noisy … with a focus on melody, “Enlighten Yourself While You Sleep” by Monochromie is a delight to listen to from start to finish.
Folks like “Fennesz” come to mind when I listen closely. Monochromie‘s use of electronics and noise is comparable to his work … especially the seminal “Venice”.
That said, at times the balance of noise and melody shift in power … with tracks “Birds Never Die” being, at times, more noise than melody … but, that said, the melody is always there … waiting to be heard … and when it is heard, it is gorgeous.
There is a strong post-rock influence … with guitars playing a large part on this release. Take the opening track – “a cold sunset” – for example, it’s is pure delight. Dissonant, in places … but stunning nonetheless. The use of glockenspiel is simply inspired especially in contrast with the guitars … it defines the song with a simple counter-melody that cuts through the noise and emphasises the main melody … a guitar-led wall-of-sound.
And it is this emphasis on melody that really sets this album apart … it redeems it from other more lacklustre noisefests or post-rock crescendo-a-thons. The ability to manipulate sound is most definitely a skill … but to do so whilst making it exciting, deeply engaging, and, most importantly for me, listenable through the use of melody and/or percussion takes both effort and talent. Monochromie have made this effort and shown their talent … creating a release that inspires and delights in equal measure … an album that is almost euphoric in nature with tracks like “Silence is Anger” and “Day and Night of a Scarecrow” really lifting the listener in the most delightful of ways.
I thoroughly enjoyed this release and would recommend it to folks who like their post-rock heavily seasoned with noise and melody … or indeed their noise infused with post-rock driven melody.
A CLOSER LISTEN / Richard Allen
Wilson Trouvé’s last album, Angels and Demons, was a big success around these parts, so it’s exciting to see how he’s stepped up his game in 2013. The French artist’s two new albums, released on Fluttery Records and Time Released Sound, have been designed to operate as two halves of a whole, and they compliment one another exceedingly well.
Enlighten Yourself While You Sleep might be considered Monochromie‘s post-rock/drone album, while Colors in the Dark might be considered his ambient/modern composition album, but the former is not too harsh and the latter is not too light. The membrane is thin and porous; each album reaches to the other with the intention of breaking through. By the very end, their hands finally meet, fingertip to fingertip, a short stretch from a clasp.
Enlighten Yourself While You Sleep is dominated by crackle and reverberated guitar, but other sounds swim happily in the mix: glockenspiel emerges as early as the first track, while electronic bells wait until the second. These bright tones are like synapses firing while the body rests, a subliminal teaching tape playing in the background. An ambient album lies in the sediment as these elements swim above; listen carefully, and you’ll find it. By “Birds Never Die”, the crackle has grown into a drone: thick, dark, immersive. As Trouvé’s piano plays, the stark beauty of the ivories is intentionally obscured. “Day and Night of a Scarecrow” develops a drum beat midway, leading to a coalescence of drones. Will the clouds ever lift? ”Insomnia” suggests they will, as a looped choir levitates above the fray.
By Colors in the Dark, the sun has begun to shine. The organ tones of opening track “Brightness” form a direct connection to the choral tones of “Insomnia”. The crackle has begun to recede like a weakening wave. The guitar is still present, but subdued; unlike its predecessor, Colors is clearly an ambient work. Over the course of the album, the the piano grows increasingly more prominent. By the tender “Childhood”, it has become the focus. If Enlighten is the approaching storm, Colors is the aftermath. The interlude of “Whales” embraces field recordings: a bicycle bell, a pinwheel. Happy children have come out to play. Quieter and quieter the pieces go, until the end descends to sleep. Light static and sampled choir lead us back to the dark side of the sun.
ECHOES AND DUST / Daniela Patrizi
If you find yourself looking for some ambient/post-rock music infused with beautiful and sublime soundscapes, Monochromie has the right solution for you. Enlighten Yourself While You Sleep is the title and it’s going to be the one of the best 45-minute album you can experience.
Monochromie is the musical side of the visual artist Wilson Trouvé from Marseille who already delighted fans of this kind of music with his quiet and peaceful debut album Angels and Demons.
Enlighten Yourself While You Sleep consists of nine tracks spread across 45 minutes, but you don't really know where one ends and another begins and the point is that it simply doesn't matter. Listening to this album you’ll notice a small number of sounds distributed in a space and allowed to move around in different configurations, with sharp patterns sometimes emerging from the randomness. The most prominent of these sounds is given by the single piano notes played quietly.
Enlighten Yourself While You Sleep opens with ‘A Cold Sunset’, a title that sounds strange since it puts together two opposite ideas, the sunset and the cold. I’ve always imagined the sunset as something warm! This track will introduce to your houses a new aura of celestial properties: the atmosphere in it is both tense and reserved, as if deep emotions are being forcibly held back.
‘Broken Beauties’ is an example of pure beauty. Listening to this song you’ll feel like floating. I tried to imagine a suitable video for this music and I came up with slow-motion images of sand blowing off the tops of dunes. With this kind of visual music you’ll get the sense of shapes shifting and forms moving.
There are real sparks in ‘Ashes and Sparks’: ambient music with electronic effect that recalls sparks from the space.
‘Birds Never Die’, with its traces of electronic percussion, has a sound that makes me feel a deep sense of inner peace and upon the initial has stuck in my mind.
‘Silence is Anger’ is the synthesis of the deepest ambient music and the best post-rock sound. The chiming guitar rhythm creates a sort of tensionthroughout the five-minute song, but it’s a beautiful tension. It’s like you’re floating and something is going to happen, an explosion of light that will make you speechless.
Dulcis in fundo: the last three songs are the best part of the album. ‘Day And Night Of Scarecrow’ is the perfect music to listen to again and again in the night, while you are driving on an empty road. The darkness, the glassy texture of strings, guitars and keyboards, as a sort of ghost-like echo of a human presence, create an atmosphere that is a sensorial experience. This is exactly what I expect from an artist and Wilson Trouvé is a great artist. ‘Day And Night Of Scarecrow’ is of course my favorite track from Monochromie and luckily it is also the longest from Enlighten Yourself While You Sleep.
The following ‘Fireworks’ is a continuation of the previous track. Ambient music with a pursuing rhythm is the first adjective that came to my mind listening to this song and this is for sure an original approach to ambient music.
You won’t rest with ‘Insomnia’, a vertigo of sounds that for sure will blow your mind from the first key. Press play and the music will slowly hover over the roofs of the sleepy houses, it will fall down through the chimneys into your night room and will come to you, it will be your bedtime story with no plan to leave you. The last notes are wonderful - I feel like I should tell everyone about it.
If Enlighten Yourself While You Sleep is your first contact with Monochromie I strongly recommend you to dive into this album but don’t omit his past Angels and Demons to discover this musical world. But if you are already a fan of Wilson Trouvé I’m sure you’ll find another soundtrack to your day.
Monochromie’s ‘Enlighten Yourself While You Sleep’ cloaks itself with layers of static. This approach gives the ultimate sweetness of the music a sense of accomplishment. Breaking through the digital debris makes the music feel particularly purposeful. Classical influences continue to inform each one of these pieces. Piano tends to be the most commonly used instrument. Drones help bring these pieces into warmer pasture. Oftentimes though the static and music works together to heighten the sense of discovery.
‘Broken Beauties’ begins with a busted piano sample. With each repetition the sample appears to break down further and further until only a shimmer remains of its original self. Static floats above this breaking spirit. On ‘Ashes and Sparks’ the static helps to make the song feel closer. The beginning is far away but with additional layers of static and noise it feels accessible. Additional layers have the added purpose of creating a warped sense of rhythm. Noise elements bounce off each other. ‘Birds Never Die’ pits a piano against a large slab of distorted noise. After the piano emerges victorious it seems like a particularly sweet victory. ‘Silence is Anger’ presents the noise as a classical element. Through its restrained use the static works like a sort of noise orchestra with a great sense of depth.
Towards the end of the album things mellow out, like on the calm ‘Day and Night Of a Scarecrow’ which includes the static only at the very end. ‘Insomnia’ finishes the album off with a beautiful choir. Monochromie shows how the digital and the organic can exist as one.
Monochromie is the creative vehicle for artist Wilson Trouvé, and this release Enlighten Yourself While You Sleep is the second album by Monochromie.
We’ll start with the first track A Cold Sunset that introduces a distorted sound that goes well with the theme of a frosty cold start to the day. As the chimes progress through the track it lightens-up the atmosphere and you can imagine the sun bursting it’s rays through the gaps in the clouds.
Lots of crackling probably produced by whipping guitar cables on the floor, which would signify the helplessness of a person or animal in Broken Beauties, other notably audio sounds is a roughly recorded piano, as well as a short segment of clean, bright piano notes being played.
t’s like you’re in a wind or echo chamber when Ashes and Sparks starts, and a very haunting cello sound piercing the sound together with radio tuning high frequency samples to give you the sense of sparks flying through the air.
You wonder whether the high level of distortion is intentional, however in Birds Never Die, you would guess that a swam of birds would probably make enough distortion as they fly through the air on their respective destination.
Intelligent take on a modern futurist Hymn and by watching the video to this song you get the idea of space, and the long notes being played one would gather a sort of penetrating different planetary atmospheres in the journey of new space worlds.
An alternative take on being disenchanted in the powerful title of Silence is Anger. The piano delaying riff is pretty eery, and when the track moves on and pans out it gets more intense with some long high sounding guitar passages that keeps building this piece of music up, extraordinarily well.
When your travelling through the countryside you’ll never look at another lonely scarecrow in the middle of a field with pity after hearing the sad instrumental piece in Day and Night Of a Scarecrow, which has whispers from these lonely fields. You would think these lonely scarecrows at day would have scarecrow gatherings at night, and out of the blue an epic rock guitar driven composition enters halfway through to the end of this track.
The rumblings of a bonfire, and Fireworks shooting through the dark sky, lighting the people and landscape below on a cold frosty November night, is what you get on this track.
Quite an emotional track Insomnia has a sample of a monk chanting, with various sound effects, and soundscapes and some bagpipes that haven’t been used on the other tracks, and a sitar with some Eastern chanting as well, all in all is something of a pleasant difference to end this album.
Enlighten Yourself While You Sleep is a psychedelic paradise of avant-garde soundscapes, and surprisingly using a guitar through different effects, and recording processes and techniques to produce something more unique than just an instrumental film
THINK MUSIK / Brad Mathews
Today we take a look at the new Monochromie album, ‘Enlighten Yourself While You Sleep ».
Monochromie is the musical project of French artist Wilson Trouve. This disc has proven to be a worthy follow-up the always spectacular « Angels and Demons ». Naturally, when news broke earlier this year about brand new album, i was stoked. I patiently waited until the day of release and then purchased it without having heard a single track. « Angels and Demons » had that big an impact on me.
Continuing with the overall concept of dreamy, ambient post-rock, the new disc introcuces a plethora of sounds, including light bells, distorted buzzing, and atmospheric swells of ambient keyboards.
The distortion on this disc is astounding, but Trouve is careful to not lean on it too much. Instead of coming across overbearing or plain noisy, it serves its purpose to enhance the exceptional musical quality on display.
Fans of post-rock heavy hitters Mono and Hammock can not go wrong with this release.
In terms of mood, « Enlighten Yourself While You Sleep » displays a more somber, reflective attitude, dwelling more in the darker aspects of the post-rock sound. The aura of sadness this album conveys, however, is not uninterrupted. Instead, uplifting melodies stroll through the darkened landscape like sparks on live electrical cables. Explosions of introverted silence and sweeping atmospheres pace the record.
Overall, this was a very enjoyable listen. It is up to par with « Angels and Demons » and even surpasses it on some fronts.
FESTIVAL DIARIES / Mike Bond
Indulging in the same sonic melancholia as the likes of Sigur Ros and Mogwai, Monochromie deal in dreamlike ambience and post rock heartbreak. The work of French musician Wilson Trouve, Monochromie is a one man enterprise and Enlighten Yourself While You Sleep the second album from him.
As the records opening song A Cold Sunset washes over you it's clear that this record is going to be a beautifully subdued affair, all muted ambience and gently swelling guitar chords that transport you to some far distant place, images of a cold dark ocean lit up by an angry sunset and oppressive but beautiful red tinged skies. The likes of Birds Never Die, Ashes And Sparks and Silence Is Anger continue in this vein, Monochromie less about snappy melodies or pop music tropes and more about atmosphere and ambience, creating moody sonic tapestries full of emotionally charged rawness.
Enlighten Yourself While You Sleep has a certain sadness to it, Monochromie certainly not presenting anything particularly pop fuelled or snappy here. For lovers of the more atmospheric and dreamlike, Enlighten Yourself While You Sleep is a richly textured affair that stimulates all the right senses in intoxicatingly tear stained ways.