Let battle commence. In his forecasted track, Force Majeure, Gaspard Augé adopted the mantra go big or go home, and naturally, we would never have imagined anything less. It does not stray too far from his motherland Justice- a 20-year brotherhood of Rock Rave with Xavier de Rosnay- why would it, but his solo era pounds its own stamp. Leading to his debut album, Escapades via Ed Banger and Because Music, 2021 is churning art of epic proportions, as if Gaspard is declaring, 'we are back'.
Introductory teasing continues as a minute long visual- directed by Filip Nilsson- accompanies the sound; shot in Turkey on the factory floor of the Bosphorus cymbal factory, it respects the history of the instrument celebrated in the song.
“We were really attracted by the epic visual appeal of cymbal making, bronze, fire, hammers, something almost mythological and elemental like Vulcan or the Nibelungen,” Augé illustrates.
Creamy shades of golds and browns bond the footage together: observed in the suave suits adorned to the licking flames at work. Men go about their business with a centuries-old process of constructing inanimate objects by hand, safe in the knowledge that they possess the power to change fortunes. Last on the production line is our protagonist Augé whose role is quality control.
The grandeur of the music is undeniable as the generator style synths uphold 90s higher-pitched keys, and needless to say, tingling cymbals play their role, as imagery springs to mind of a cliff with thrashing waves below and eagles soaring above. A tribe of people decorated with shields and swords stand poised, ready for their fate, eager to trust the universe, empowered.
Unpredictable composing leads the listener back to the roaring pattern enjoyed in the opening; a transformation follows to a concluding section where the melody is off beat with high-spirited rhythm not out of place in an 80s work-out video and a surprise gradual fade-out, rather than a bang. We heard a flash of this as a New Year treat and knew from that snippet of promise that it would be monstrous. Gaspard Augé leads that tribe on the cliff, and his crew, the listener waiting patiently for more.
Article by Beverley Knight