Where previous releases have seen the synth-obsessed Frenchman take his inspiration from Caribbean rhythms or Balearic attitudes, this marine missive sees Shelter turn to the lavish world of the library, creating his an alternate score to Jean Faurez’ 1960 documentary short.
More submersible than snorkel, our journey begins in the very dark of the deep, mystical harp trills echoing through the inky blackness, picking up the bioluminescent shimmer of an Abraliopsis Squid. Gradually we make our way into the light, cruising past shoals of silver scales and underwater forests. Immersion offers a placid, percolating rhythm and billowing pads, providing sonic symmetry for the dancing leaves, while the spheric soundscape of La Vie A L’Ombre bubbles away like an underwater volcano. The optimistic ambience of Plenitude Azotee, brimming with delicate melody and glistening sequences, perfectly captures the wide-eyed wonder of a reef dive, before drifting into the serenity of Parade, an aquatic acquaintance of A.R.T. Wilson’s Overworld. A brief foray into shark fin funk sees out the A-side, before we’re back amid the beauty of the ocean floor; Variation Abyssale II echoing the album opener but with even more poetry. The exotic and otherworldly sine waves of Dans La Jungle De Varech simultaneously sound like a rainforest canopy, alien landscape and coral microcosm, expanding our horizons nicely ahead of the adrenaline rush of Hors D’Haleine. Shelter then sets us at ease with the tidal tonality and subtle shuffle of Fumeurs Noirs, a sublime synthetic suite, then leaves us to marvel at the soft focus splendour of Synthii Outro.
– Patrick Ryder