Jun 2011 20

Cover Image
Category: Synthpop
Album: Hexagonal
Stars: 3
Blurb: Simplistic synthpop that evokes the best of the old-school rather pleasantly.


Synthpop is one of those genres that never seem to change. Indeed, there are many different bands and artists with their own individual approach and style, but ultimately, the basics of synthpop remain consistent – a mix of saccharine pop melody with catchy layers of synthesized ambience and more often than not some danceable beats. Such is the case with France’s Celluloide, whose old-school sound evokes the best early works of Depeche Mode and The Human League, and with the trio’s latest release, Hexagonal, the formula seems to work just fine.

What sets Hexagonal apart from past Celluloide releases is the absence of any English tracks, relying on their native French and giving the songs a much more honest quality rather than lose in any translation. Beyond this, the band has done little to alter the conventions established as arrangements of arpeggios and simplistic beats create a complex ambient tapestry as exemplified on songs like “Le Goût du Poison” and “Pilote Automatique,” complemented by waves of sweeping pads and Darkleti’s effective yet disaffected voice, at once sensual and robotic. The devotion to classic synthesizer sounds is most obvious on “Cœur 8-Bit” and “Faire du Bruit,” both utilizing the square and saw sounds that comprised much of the early days of synthpop, but Celluloide also exhibit a modern sensibility on tracks like “Et Si…” and “Nuclépsynthèse” with their bass lines bearing a resemblance to the slightly darker works of And One and the intro to “Sans Conditions” being akin to IDM.

Ultimately, there is nothing new or groundbreaking to be found on Hexagonal, and for a band like Celluloide, that is something of a comfort. While innovation and evolution are preferred, the simplicity of the band’s classic sound makes for an enjoyable bit of synthesized nostalgia that can be a respite from the overwrought sounds of most synthpop today.
Track list:

  1. Imprévisible
  2. À Contre Temps
  3. Le Goût du Poison
  4. Les Quatre Coins de L’Hexagone
  5. Sans Conditions
  6. Et Si…
  7. Pilote Automatique
  8. Cœur 8-Bit
  9. Faire du Bruit
  10. Nucléosynthèse
  11. Un Conte de Fée
    Celluloide Website http://www.celluloide.online.fr
    Celluloide MySpace http://www.myspace.com/celluloide
    Celluloide Facebook http://www.facebook.com/celluloide
    Celluloide Twitter http://www.twitter.com/#!/u0176
    BOREDOMproduct Website http://www.boredomproduct.online.fr
    BOREDOMproduct MySpace http://www.myspace.com/boredomproduct
    BOREDOMproduct Facebook http://www.facebook.com/boredomproduct
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD
    Amazon CD (Limited Edition)
    Amazon MP3
    Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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