Published Jan 29, 2020Catherine Debard's YlangYlang project has seen an abundance of excellent releases since her initial offering in 2012. Her catalogue is also evidence that she is not afraid to experiment with sound and texture, as each album pushes new sonic boundaries. Interplay is both another redesign and YlangYlang's most accomplished record, which is saying a lot, considering the depth of her history.
There is most notably an absence of classic drum machine sounds and sequences that were a force previously. Instead, Debard's excellent sound design and choice of structure are fully realized. When rhythms are needed, we are introduced to either lo-fi toy synth beats that fit in perfectly alongside an uncluttered array of textures, or subtle beats that simply feel more like passengers belonging to a greater journey.
There is a human quality to the sound; the music is soothing, yet disjointed, complicated yet appreciable. Interplay is uniquely accessible, partially due to Debard's comforting delivery of vocals, and partially due to the space and time given to instruments and field recordings to breath, the metaphor here being that the complexity and unpredictability of life can be tamed.
In the end, Interplay is a stunning record that avoids being pretentious yet is striking, challenging and very listenable. (Crash Symbols)