Virtuoso compositions, subtle synthetic atmospheres, voices oscillating between pure intentions and dreamlike fantasy, a confusion of feelings and desires, time and space. Garden of Love, the new album by electro duo Scratch Massive makes an impression from the first moments that you hear its enigmatic beauty. Like a ghost train moving along a tightrope – between shadow and light, failure and redemption, violence and melancholy – this fourth studio album reaffirms the Parisian DJ/Producer duo style/vibe with their hybrid sounds and sensory experiences.
For 15 years, Maud Geffray and Sebastien Chenut have maintained artistic and aesthetic control as they participated in the “revolution of the dancefloors”. In the early 2000s, “Made in France” electro became known for its hedonism and as the savior of an entire techno generation ready to fight (or at least on the dancefloor!) for a future that was increasingly frustrating and hypothetical.
At first glance, Garden of Love appears to be an invitation to love and peace, however, nothing is ever that simple, as the album cover evokes a multitude of interpretations. The lyrics speak to the depths of the soul, covering a range of emotion from love, emotions, and fears. Garden of Love is for our hearts and bodies to become receptive again: the disenchanted poetry of the “Last Dance,” the sumptuous opening track set against a backdrop of electro-pop murmured in the light and shadows as painful caress; the psychedelic scent of “Sunken” (a duet recorded with the complicit and poisonous voice of Léonie Pernet); and the dark-tech shores of “Fantome X” with the evanescent and hypnotic pop clarity of Feel The Void (both magnified by the vocals of Romain Thominot of the Reims pop band Grindi Manberg). Scratch Massive draws the outline of an electronic music in search of redemption – reinventing their icy grooves and confronting it with a naive elegance and a disillusioned romanticism that embodies our time.
Like a distant echo returning to our disoriented ears, Garden of Love, (whose title invokes the beauty in the shadows and ephemeral tenderness of the poem by British artist and poet William Blake), is the record of lost time, missed opportunities, as well as paths of rebirth.
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Scratch Massive: Garden of Love
October 25, 2018