It might be hard to tell at first – what with the sleeve’s abstract-cool graphics, the title string of ineffectual buzzwords, the artist’s proper name and all – but Belgium’s Christophe Bailleau is not playing coy with ‘Sonic Pool Hypnose Club’. True, an ergonomic backpack’s worth of digital and analog synthesizers are all we have here, and the vibes are objectively pleasant, soothing, cooling – but the consummate effect of these sounds is not resembled in its parts. The A-side addresses us in the first person, and that person is very in touch with his sensuality. “Put My in Your” and “Welcome to My Stereo” both wordlessly convey a bedroom synth geek eager to be more than just friends. In the first quarter of track one, Bailleau throws everything at us, in an almost clumsy bottleneck of tinselly treble and rippling waves; at midpoint the throb begins, respiratory in a half-danceable/half-asthmatic kind of way, clearing the path for a final onslaught of terminated finger-pokes and cresting anxiety. Track two takes a more tested, IDM-inflected approach to first sequence figures from the ground with a raver’s optimism, then transforms suddenly into a most pleasing sequence of padded tones and angelic streaks of light. The appeal of this Club is growing apparent. Following the same structure (and indeed, each of the four tracks follow suit), the track returns in the final moments to the first theme, juxtaposing the two halves if only to say, “see, they’re the same song!” At this point we should address claims that these tracks were originally designed to be heard in a swimming pool. Aside from the content, which invites both revitalization and rejuvenation, what is it about this A/B/A+B structure that lends itself to listening in a dip? I’d invite you to listen and figure it out for yourself, though I would venture to guess it’s Bailleau having his way with us. 100 copies.
Sacred Phrases cassette