The phrase “FEUX FOLLETS” from which Archipel 105 draws its title, comes from the Latin ignis fatuus, and translates as will-o’-the-wisp.
The etymology reaches back to old folktales in which ill-intentioned spirits would cast an atmospheric glow at night, in order to lead weary travellers astray. Today, the term refers to ghost-lights – artificial light reflections caused by decomposing organic emissions. Anyway you choose to understand it; this music contains the mysterious and unattainable. Feux Follets are meant to depict an elusive (and perhaps also illusive) ambition.
A tense equilibrium colours the constant, foundational sounds with aleatory movements. The compositions are detail-oriented, and boldly explore their tangential elements. It takes a specific kind of madness to appreciate the attention this release commands. The hopeful mood of Éclore is a perfect point of departure. The sound has an airiness the mind can float through while the progressive low end keeps the body centred. The bassline contains a recognisable lull that characterises Pheek’s compositions.
The out-of-body sensation experienced while listening to this track works well with its name. Sans Repaire offers a unique perspective on wandering, launching off into sound-space with slowly evolving textural transformations. The deep, swelling bass of Dans l’arbre un visage is firmly grounding. It serves as a defining agent of the piece’s haunting ambiance, further complemented by its melodic interludes. Rite de passage’s tribal rhythms provide an inimitable cradle for the commingling of raw and refined, and its imposing attitude leaves an impression of physical presence upon the listener.
The final two parts of the release are unapologetically strange, and experimental. There exists an ever-present, unresolvable tension in this music. Sortir de l’ombre demonstrates how tension functions as a building block and catalyst for transformation. Waves of tension build layers unto themselves that in turn serve to influence the direction and flow of the whole. Here, tension is meant to be channeled rather than resolved.
Feux Follets behaves exactly as the name suggests, employing the illusion of chaos in order to facilitate the pleasure of context. The overall effect is one of wandering without being lost, and anticipating redundancy as a means of discovery.