Antigone - Rising
After seven years and more than a dozen releases, French producer Antonin Jeanson, aka Antigone, consolidates with a strong debut album. With a back catalogue that demonstrates a range of styles, from Dub and Ambient to IDM and Techno, it's fitting that Rising reflects this, Jeanson masterfully connecting what he's familiar with into a cohesive yet fluid whole, one that never settles, shifting and surprising at every subtle energy change.
A gentle, melodic opening statement followed by some contrasting beats may be de rigueur in Techno long players of late, but title track Rising surges with such glorious aplomb, setting the mood (and a high standard) with orchestral strings that soar with genuine emotion, it's easy to overlook the metronomic rhythm that follows on Sands Of Time, especially when the whole album is built on these contrasting techniques: melody offset with tension, hooks offset with naked beats, rhythms vying for attention. The contrasts aren't just evident on a track-by-track level either, the whole album teases with clever sequencing.
After the swooning opener and the urgent ticking of the Sands Of Time we sustain a period of soothing tension with Perchance To Dream (a track that could have been made by Donato Dozzy or Mønic) and haunting melody on Lost And Found before Out There pivotally transforms the vibe, with its sinister synths, into a richly textured Dubscape; this change signalling a diversion, deep into club territory, with three Techno tracks chained together as one: Duality Of Mind, Infinite Limit and It Follows. And while I can accept the argument that the Dub motifs and ubiquitous bleeping rhythms heard in this trio of tracks is Techno-by-numbers, sometimes just giving the Techno-heads what they want is the best approach. As it turns out, Infinite Limit ended up as my favourite track on the album, with its crushed cymbals and skittish Jungly vibe - simply superb!
The last phase of the album goes from sizzling IDM to Ambient Techno, starting with Dume, a track I'm quite sure will be the standout moment for many listeners (although inexplicably missing from the vinyl release) and its catchy vocal snippet (sounding reminiscent of Forest Swords). Then, like an interlude, Irreversible demonstrates a solid understanding of pace and space by facilitating the change of style from IDM to Downtempo. The heartfelt melody on final track Love Field, at once balancing the beauty of opener Rising and setting a pleasingly melancholy end note.
- Rating: 7/10
- Listens: 15
- Highlight: Infinite Limit
- Label: Token
- Release Date: 16th November 2018