Parisian deep house producer Flabaire explores the range of his ingenuity on his new record Alors Actually, released last month by fledgling UK imprint South Street. A brooding tour de force, the record shows Flabaire’s gifts at carving out stirring, human expression with opaque electronic instruments. Raw samples, drum machines, and keyboards come together on tracks both radically imaginative and immediately recognizable.
Indistinct strumming and mechanical noise open the record on “Midsummer Blues,” growing like a light in a tunnel into streamy electric piano and a sultry, four-to-the-floor beat, shimmering and subterranean.
“Tell Me About It” follows, the center-piece of the lot. Deep and insistent, it unfolds from a driving drum machine loop, lifting upward into an ecstatic keyboard riff and angelic vocal refrain for a hands-in-the-air climax.
On the B side, “Prime Numbers (Parlez Vous Francais 2015 Rework)” has an off-kilter, fractured rhythm, with the sublime, dusty timbres of wood, static-laden claps, and muted electric piano. Whirling synths lead the way into mystical pads, emerging with the energy of Chicago-style ride cymbals.
“Écoudé” closes things out with a sauntering 808 beat and menacing rave bass, illuminating a murky pad progression. There’s visionary technique in the breakdown, when delay-soaked claps shift incoherently before snapping back into a midnight groove.