Respecting Reverberation: A Listen To Nazaré by Molécule
Updated: Apr 3
Oceans enchant, mesmerise. The sheer depth and scale of Earth's aqua is exhilarating and frightening in equal measure and try as we might the unlocking of all its mystery is not ours to find. Sound hunter Romain De La Haye-Serafini, french producer Molécule, seeks these notes of nature but goes to extreme lengths.
Field recordings bestow listeners the closest shot to feeling they are present while capturing sonics that otherwise would vanish into the cavity of forever. Romain responds to these acquisitions allowing himself to express findings and extracting inspiration. Bottled as electronic music, this is exhibited in his past two releases and 2020 EP Nazaré on Ed Banger Records.
Portugal's Nazaré, and its gargantuan waves fueled by an underwater canyon, may have posed the complex hurdles, but this was not the auditory adventurer's first time in the wilderness. In 2013, project 60°43’ North saw him aboard a trawler on the North Atlantic over a 34-day stretch, recording equipment in tow, riding the storms.
Four years later, the opportunity arose to make the trip to the unpigmented, illustrious beauty of Greenland to invent record -22.7.°C, which is the lowest temperature noted on the expedition. The composing occurred on the trip as he allowed himself to surrender to the brutal conditions and harsh reality.
Romain not just hears our planet but listens intently and makes effort to understand the language; in his four tracks of Nazaré, the vocabulary belongs to the sea. The town's enlarged waves draw surfers from each corner of the globe, who desire a challenge and the thrill of danger, and as part of documentary Sounds of Surfing- Directed by Vincent Kardasi- he worked in sync with the tide riders.
At cries of 'Go', opener Big Mama introduces the ocean lapping the shore until we are fully submerged, liquid in the ears, and gasping for breath. An uneasy, repetitive soundscape is joined by a siren signifying that the humans are not in charge. All songs would stand alone in their own right as accomplished pieces yet with the sounds weaving through they transcend into provoking art. In 1st Peak, the siren returns at a higher, more urgent pitch as the techno beat adds intensity underneath rushing water leading to a accent of melody.
Passions are high when the sun sets calling for celebration, which is what we find in the after-party feels of Praia Do Norte and the snatched conversations you may hear as you make your way to the dance floor. The buoyant feel of the song adds euphoria replicating the fizz of seafoam. Réminiscences performs the sensation of being chased by the wave as the noise recording features the landing with crushing force to reach its master again. The most sinister of the lot, its unnerving synths cut through the air like ice as a distressed voice exclaims.
Some moments soothe, some unnerve. The last track is club edit of Praia Do Norte that ends our excursion, proving that this would sound astounding in the darkened, crowded, laser aided nightclub, but is just as valid through earphones in private. Wherever you listen, Molécule urges you to go outside, hear the environment, listen to our universe and create visuals with your mind. There is more to it than you could imagine.
Article by Beverley Knight