Essential album alert! (not just for the artwork either)

Three years in the making, ‘Peau froide, léger soleil’ is the collaborative album from Mika Vainio and Franck Vigroux, born out of a live performance in Paris back in 2012.

Mika hardly needs any introduction, the man behind the Sähkö label and one half of Pan Sonic, he has spent the last two decades refining his precision sound design and ice cold minimalist techno, most notably under his ‘Ø’ alias. Franck Vigroux, best known as an experimental guitar player, has been releasing albums since 2003 and was responsible for Cosmo Rhythmatic’s first release, one of the finest examples of his work with freeform beats and uncompromising walls of noise.

Collaboration in the truest sense of the word, ‘ Peau Froide, Léger Soleil’ sees the two artists peerless styles working in tandem to create something greater than the sum of its parts.

‘Deux’ opens the album with a deceptively sparse into of metallic tones before plunging into brutalist constructions of static and tortured guitar electronics – before thawing away to the icy expanses of the intro once again.

‘Mémoire’ opens in proper Vainio style, pure mathematical beat constructions stretch far into the distance framed by glistening artefacts and pure arctic wind. Vigroux’s howling textures overlay the the track, stirring it into a polar vortex before vanishing as quickly as they arrived.

The second half of the album focusses more on the precision minimalism of Vainio, ‘Man’ for example is a weightless trip across Alaskan plains while ‘Le Souterrain’ sees haunting guitar work glide over sonar pings and widescreen electronics.

A captivating and tense listen, recommended for fans of Mika Vainio (obvs), Shapednoise, Gas and Biosphere.

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