Support from Rob Booth, Danny Daze, Lakker, goldFFinch, Ben Mono, Scratcha DVA, Feadz, Madam X, Mumdance, [re]sources, Dehousy, Ana Sia and Wallwork & RZR.
Parisian audiovisual pro Domenico Bercelli, after cleverly weaving his mixed Italian and French heritage into the elegantly simple pseudonym “Le Dom”, then proceeds to give his two cents to today’s club scene… and, in perfect likeness to his knack for coaxing spectacle out of minimalism… his two cents go a long way. His latest oeuvre, “Oazis”, for our Tessier-Ashpool Recordings main series, is almost a primer in our 2015-renewed definition of machine music.
The functionalist tag is oft-abused abused these days (and we are as much to blame as everyone else), and would again be abused herein, but Le Dom is not quite a functionalist. His sonic palette is not restrictive, but tightly regimented, with machine-like rigor, and exploited to its full potential. Punishing percussive sections approach logical extremes, careful not to surpass them, before making way for escapist, yet restrained melodies that betray the EP’s emotional core. A constant dance between full-frequency onslaught and spatial economy occurs in the sound spectrum. Le Dom’s music is thusly divorced from perceptible influence, reference, or suggested medium, lending itself equally to home listening, specialist club rinsing, and arena/festival performance.
The title track is a persistent fluctuation between italo-robotic 4/4 EBM and comb-filtered, sub-heavy stab barrages. Vocoder interjections and feedback leads maintain maximum ebullience throughout. Borrowing its name from the rebranding of Volvic’s French original “Pulse” soft-drink, upon its purchase by Coca-Cola, it has two things we love – a backstory rife with corporate intrigue, and an appropriately effervescent and fruity aftertaste. And it’s a rare (and delightful) occurrence when we can describe a track this way both literally, and figuratively.
Liar’s Optimix™ is a total deconstruction, and subsequent reconstruction, of “Oazis” assets into a sprawling oriental epic, commencing as a retrofuturist space opera before segueing into a wholly unhinged xenogrime assault (populated with blink-and-you’ll-miss-them nods to our favorite moments in 2014 electronic music). Inspired by Le Dom’s title choice, Liar envisions a surrealist, poignant tableau – augmented Bedouin, astride bionic camels, HF-scimitars in hand, dying in battle to protect the black oasis of their petrostate.
“Bang Us” is a bouncing tom pattern mounted atop a steady, syncopated beat, and marked by ever-escalating, flanged high-end histrionics. The deep-throated title chant bares the track’s ghettotech roots, while the appended synth finale would not be out of place in a neon-noir context.
“Rub Up” is a love letter to both Chicago and Detroit, starting off as a chanting acid house jam – which belies the track’s true nature, as it then segues into an 808-heavy faux-electro number. An abrasive arp maintains an inquisitive melody, which leaves no octave unused, before making way for a tribal, nearly-incessant percussive finale.
As Russian avant-garde painter Kazimir Malevich states, “Under suprematism I understand the primacy of pure feeling in creative art. To the suprematist, the visual phenomena of the objective world are, in themselves, meaningless; the significant thing is feeling, as such, quite apart from the environment in which it is called forth.” Indeed, Le Dom is an aural suprematist.