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Philippe Laurent – Nocturnes

by François Zappa

French electronic music pioneer Philippe Laurent has just released a new album with nine songs recorded between 2018 and 2020, entitled Nocturnes. This is his new work after a series of improvisations that we have been reviewing as they were published and his first LP after Considérations Inactuelles, his tribute with Airworld to Richard Pinhas. We would like to remind you that the producer, also known as Hot Bip, started his career in the eighties and recorded a few minimal wave cassettes that have been later compiled by the Minimal Synth label in 2011. The album has been mastered by In Aeternam Vale, another artist that we like a lot, and has been released on CD by Schwerkraft Records.

The first track has a retro-futurist vibe that can be found all through the album, with some nice and playful melodies. The second one is dreamy and I would like to highlight the guitar playing of the French composer. “Nocturne 3,” together will the last, is one of the longest tracks, and it develops slowly, showing perfectly the mastery of the French musician. Also the short tracks are really good, like “Nocturne 4”, with the delicacy of a modern Isao Tomita. The number five is one of the best one, a really evocative track. Track six is also captivating, with a central part that can remind us of Philippe Laurent’s previous Improvisations. “Nocturne 7” and 8 are two short and delicate songs. Although the best part can be found in the 15 inspired minutes of “Nocturne 9”: space music, very dreamy and easily one of the best things that we have heard this year. With Nocturnes, Philippe Laurent brings us the perfect soundtrack for these long winter nights, the perfect music to keep dreaming.

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