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A soundtrack to a mini horror film on a very low budget - 65%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, September 10th, 2019

The first of several releases put out in 2019 by the prolific French one-man raw BM project Furfur, "Reflexion Funebre" plays like a soundtrack to a very low-budget mini-horror film whose ambitions are 100 times bigger than the bank account. There is a doomy ambient introduction "Dieu n'existe pas" ("God does not exist") which might as well be sub-titled "Abandon hope, all ye who enter here", sounding as it does like a descent into an underground world, complete with slurpy swamp monster mutterings and a dank, humid and probably very swamp-monster smelly atmosphere. From then on, Furfur launches into a whirlwind of biscuit-tin percussion pummel and whiny wasp guitar grind, presided over by groaning demon vocals. "Ultraviolence" is meant to be very raw, aggressive and savage but has an air of desperation as if it's trying harder than it should to prove itself kvlt and tr00. Likewise the title track goes hell for leather with faster-than-fast tinny blast-beat percussion and repeating hornet-noise riffs into a black hole where various resident demons try to figure out what to do and where to go next while the music scrabbles for time. The track might zoom off in one direction and then in another, only to remain stuck.

"Dépression d'hiver " ("Winter depression") is as harsh and blizzard noisy as ambient BM tracks replicating the noise of winter storms can get when the instruments and equipment used are not great, to say the least. This track leads into a dark piece "Consumation", an atmospheric dirge of bleakness and fear as a repeating guitar melody loop provides the support to which demons with raspy voices try to cling to relay their messages of hopeless anguish.

In its own restricted way, this release experiments with mood and atmosphere, trying out an extended blizzard-noise soundscape on one track; and on another, attempting to convey the feeling of isolation in an endless black non-existence. For me, the best track is "Dépression d'hiver " as it really does approach soundscape territory with a constant layer of harsh guitar-noise texture. Other songs have equal aspiration to be mood or ambient pieces but the limited lo-fi musical palette sometimes proves to be too much of a restriction on such ambition. A lot of potential in some songs for depth in mood or atmosphere goes unrealised.

Most MA readers are likely to dismiss this recording as rubbish due to its trashy and tinny sound but if given a chance and a couple of hearings, this recording does have some interesting ideas and experiments with sound and song composition.