Four years on from their debut EP, ‘Hundred Fifty Roses’ continues the collaboration between Parisian producers Duñe and Crayon. Both well - established names in their own right, the music they make together carries a casual elegance, fusing together complex lyrical themes and languid, carefully - assembled rhythms shrouded in the hazy, gauzy atmospherics that make French electronic music a distinctive genre unto itself.
Tracks like the standout ‘Invisible’ drift along on subtle, shuffling hip-hop rhythms and treacly basslines, the addition of gentle jazz guitar giving the song a relaxed soulfulness. If it all sounds somewhat polite, like chilled - out music for balmy pavement café evenings with friends, a listen to the lyrics reveals a sense of anguish, uncertainty, disenfranchisement and humility that crops up throughout ‘Hundred Fifty Roses’, much of its content dealing with the moder n subversion of that greatest of French gifts – romance.
‘Slowdiving’, featuring Roche Musique labelmate Lossapardo, is the album’s understated centrepiece. Chunky beats draped in textural electronics, wonky tones and an insistent bass pattern frame a tra ck that deals with intense detachment and disappointment at the way innocent concepts are all too often convoluted. Another highlight is the brief instrumental ‘Poltergust’, beginning with bluesy guitar riffs that sound like they were recorded underwater b efore opening out into a clipped, delicate world of criss - crossing synth melodies and woozy string sounds. Wordless it may be, but it carries the echo of Duñe’s warm, enveloping vocal sensibilities in its highly lyrical melodic outlines.
The album conclud es with the transcendent ‘Ten Years’, its lyrics suggesting a sense of our narrator looking backward and finally coming to terms with things, while its sonic architecture is constructed using a resigned, yet ultimately hopeful, design. The track caps off what is a beautifully detailed and highly distinctive collection of songs, each one ruminating on matters of modern hearts and minds.
Words: Mat Smith
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