Yeah – it’s been a while: I had another No.1 hit on the Beatport Reggae Charts, so I have been neglecting my blog, Sigil Of Brass – Still, I hope to sort that out by firing off a few hastily drawn-up, ill thought out reviews 😉

The first of today’s reviews will be Foch Delplanque’s “Secret”.

Entirely recorded live with no overdubs, the duo comprised of Mathias Delplanque and Philippe Foch. Foch Delplanque have an approach that is rooted in improvisation and translates a shared aesthetic to play on timbres, textures, sound space while striving to blur the boundaries between acoustic and electronic, raw and treated sounds, sampled and live produced material.


Foch Delplanque

Foch Delplanque (by Eric Sneed)


In January 2015, Foch Delplanque were granted a residence at Césaré (National Center for Musical Creation in Reims, France) where they recorded, within a few days, the seven tracks that constitute the material of “Secret.” After an episode in 2012 when Philippe Foch laid down the masters for the Signature label (Radio France). The album he was working on at that time was his album Taarang, a sonic exploration of the Taarang – a 15 Tabla ensemble – involving various collaborators, including Mathias Delplanque. Mathias accompanied Philippe on the Taarang Tour, and the many-shared dates gave both artists the opportunity to become musically tame and to deepen their common language. The forging of some friendships take a lifetime, but it just took a few weeks to cement their bond.

The melodic and rhythmic parts intertwine, mingle, and musical motifs travel within a moving and cloudy sound mass. “Secret” is reminiscent of the new-wave of Musique Contrète – it has the bare bones of percussion and loops but it is all very disjointed and all the better for that fact. There is a quiet poetry to this recording – as if two hetero-lifemates rub each other up the wrong way but yet get the job done.

In my eyes – this album is a testament to their shared friendship. But it should also be seen as a product of that time and instantly celebrated as a nostalgic look upon a short timespan. That time being the first buds of friendship between two sparring musicians. A sparsely populated, sonically inquisitive album – I have not heard anything quite like this for quite a while. If you are out for an adventure – look no further than Foch Delplanque’s “Secret”.

Released on Parentheses Records – link here – “Secrets” is due out on October 16th. “Secrets” was recorded, edited and mixed by Alexis Derouet, it was mastered by Lawrence English at Negative Space and the images used wit in the release (photographs & layout) are by John Sellekaers