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Artist
Para One
ReleaseProduct
SPECTRE: Machines Of Loving Grace
Label
WRWTFWW Records
Catalogue Number
WRWTFWW054
Release Date
June 11, 2021

Press Release

WRWTFWW Records is happy to announce the release of Para One’s new album SPECTRE: Machines of Loving Grace, available in half speed mastered 180g double lp housed in a heavy sleeve with UV spot varnish. Machines of Loving Grace, the new album by Para One, whose real name is Jean-Baptiste de Laubier could be called fiction. It is an object freed from constraints, formats, genres, territories: the gospel of a new world. Six years after Club, eight years after Passion, his previous LP, this lover of electronic music, who has also been putting his sensitivity to the service of movies (soundtracks for Céline Sciamma in particular) opens with this record a new dimension in his artistic career. “I needed to break away from patterns and systematisms of formats, and take unexpected turns. To do so, I had first to allow myself to do so”. Allow oneself and maybe above all confront oneself – with one’s childhood, with one’s childhood’s ghosts, and what fantasies, ideals, memories, and grey areas they harbor. He had to go back – without giving up on his position as an adult, as a full-fledged artist – to the sources of his imagination, to the moment when music was holding almost mystical power. And then revisit it to make something new out of it. Just like Sanity, Madness & the Family (the feature film directed by Para One that he just finished and of which it is a consubstantial part), Machines of Loving Grace has an investigation around a family secret and the father figure as its starting point. “When you go down the path – of a work, of a person, of the past – you never really find out what was. You find yourself,” explains Para One. For the musician/producer, this personal, identity quest doubles with a quest for sound. Machines of Loving Grace is both the story behind and the result of it. After defining the structure of the album, Para One went exploring the sounds, and the figureheads that shaped his sensibility as a musician: soundtracks of Japanese anime watched hundreds of times; Indonesian drums and gamelan; the peculiar harmonies, on the verge of dissonance of Bulgarian Voices; Steve Reich’s minimal music; or Detroit techno music. Several trips, to Bali, Japan, and also Bulgaria, have thus fueled the album, clashing with and shaping the electronic architectures of Para One. In Bali, he went deep into the jungle with the Suar Agung Group, who play jegog, a particular form of gamelan, to record the astounding « Silicon Jungle ». In Sofia, he met with the Mystère des voix Bulgares group. “I have long been fascinated by their peculiar, and voluntarily borderline off-key harmonies, between the East and the West. The text they sing is an invented language. The idea was really to create a traditional, cosmic song from another planet.” The choir illuminates « Shin Sekai », one of the most beautiful tracks in the album, that could be seen as a manifesto: like some emotional and cultural overlap, it blends percussions recorded with KODO on the island of Sado in Japan, violin played by Arthur Simonini, treated as if it were Arvo Pärt, and a very trance-like electronic arpeggio – which has become one of the signatures of Para One’s over the years. It is also representative of the multiple weaving, between machine and human hand, acoustic and electronic textures, ritual practices and contemporary arrangements, which run through the record and make up its mystery, its oddness: the instruments used (guitar, marimba...) are taken away from the folk or pop sound imagery to which they are usually associated and re-processed by the producer. “I really come from electronic textures and I own it. For the first time, I tried my hand at acoustics, with real instruments. This is a difficult mix to dose out. It’s like a ridge line you have to be able to tread.” In eleven tracks, the record opens like a thriller with « Vertigo » – a theme full of danger, and anguish lurking in the winding curves of Alpine roads – takes the listener on a breath- taking journey, a constantly surprising, mystical odyssey. One crosses continents, dives in apnea to the ocean floor for several minutes (« Atlantique » gives the sensation of bringing Steve Reich, Rolando and Drexciya together in one room), then catches one's breath while listening to mysterious children voices as they chant their memories on the more atmospheric « Fauna », and goes back briefly to The Orb or Massive Attack (« Alpes »). After a dark night in the middle of the jungle (« Silicon Jungle »), there comes the time of light, of renewal. This is « Futatsu No Taiyo », which means “two suns” in Japanese, the final bravura on the record. Two fires that join their forces, their energies and give birth to new and truly transcendent music. One that gives access not to the divine but to a liberated self, freed from the weight of the past. A true rebirth.

Track List

A1. Vertigo 4:32
A2. Shin Sekai 5:16
A3. Virtual Satori 6:17
B1. Sundial 3:44
B2. Atlantique 4:56
B3. Fauna
4:03 C1. Alpes 5:10
C2. Yret 5:46
C3. Silicon Jungle 5:39
D1. Ars Nova 5:41
D2. Futatsu No Taiyo 4:28

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