Le Jour et le Nuit du Réel

Thrill Jockey • 2023

For over two decades now, Cécile Schott has been making strange music whose appeal is easy to understand and hard to explain. Her last album as Colleen, »The Tunnel and the Clearing«, relied on preset rhythms and swaggering synth sounds, sounding as if Anadol had produced an LP for Leaving. Before that, she graciously ventured into pop territory. With »Le Jour et le Nuit du Réel«, she returns to the playful sonic abstractions that characterised her early work. 21 instrumental vignettes, which began as songs with vocals, form seven cycles, which in their entirety again trace the transition from day to night. The instrumentation comprises hardware synthesizers, delays and a space echo, and the sound is accordingly cosmically tinged—the Berlin School or the »big ambient« sound of synth nerd projects like Emeralds form a possible frame of reference. But »Le Jour et le Nuit du Réel« also is detached from all these traditions. This is the sound of a composer who explores the boundarylessness of her music through the means of limitation, sounding decidedly modernist in the process, i.e. in search of new possibilities of expression. It’s an album not so much about being, but about the process of becoming. A rare one, indeed.