(CD AVAILABLE THROUGH CONSOULING : consouling.be/release/orients
ORIENTS is the third long length record by Witxes (still pronounced "witches"), main vessel for french artist Maxime Vavasseur (born 1985). It will be released on June 1 2018 by Ghent-based label Consouling Sounds.
The project previously released Sorcery/Geography (Humanist, 2012) and A Fabric of Beliefs (Denovali, 2013), and a couple long pieces : Winter Light Burns (FeedbackLoop, 2012) and Pisces Analogue (Denovali, 2014).
Two years in the making, Vavasseur admits it wasn't an easy one to work on, mostly because it deals with "being stuck in the illusion of infinite possibilities, with reality and virtuality becoming dangerously one".
Vavasseur, from a recent interview :
"For the first two records I had the ideas before I started recording, but for this new record, that we’re finishing mixing, the theme actually emerged while listening back to the first draft of the pieces. I was lost in the composition process, I had 3 hours of music, the things that were flowing out were almost the opposite of what I wanted to compose, my mind was clouded, I was distracted by what I now see as meaningless things. I needed to re-focus on what matters to me but the music was struggling because I was struggling with my life in a way. So this new record is a testimony of where I was at, as a person, when I created it. It’s really strange, because this whole process lead me to new conclusions, new goals, and I feel like I am now re-focused, but almost none of this is featured on the record : the record reflects the process and questions more than the results and answers this time. I wanted it to be completely different than my previous records, and in a way it is, but not really how I intended it to be in the first place".
More words from a recent discussion :
"ORIENTS is about realizing that most of us go through life being completely disconnected from our true human nature, about our civilization distracting us, hypnotizing us and leading us to the destruction of our core. ORIENTS is also about slowly going through this realization and what to make of it. A search for inner peace, making our way towards our own Orient."
Vavasseur's 40 minutes of new music still features the blend of electronic and acoustic, hi-fi and lo-fi sources that Vavasseur has used on his previous works, but this time it leans more heavily on the electronic side, with the acoustic elements even more processed than they used to be. "I really didn't want it to be another synth music album, there are too many of those, and there is also a great lot of talented people dedicating their work to this realm of music, but circumstances have had me using synths a lot more then I had planned to".
In a 2013 interview with Rock-a-Rolla, Vavasseur said "I have never decided to make ambient music, I think this tag would disappoint many people upon listening to my music". Four years later this statement proves to be even truer with ORIENTS. If it is indeed immersive and environmental, its shapeshifting and dynamic nature won't leave you at rest. All in all, ORIENTS is a humble, spiritual and tumultuous effort that could be seen as new age for the warfield.
released June 1, 2018
Music by Witxes
Produced by Witxes & Michaël Mysak
Mixed by Michaël Mysak
Mastered by James Plotkin
Matthieu Metzger - Lead sopranino saxophone on "Clairvoyants"
Fabien Mysak - Percussions and additional synthesizer on "Distractions", additional synthesizer on "Rogues" & "Interventions"
drums on "Disruptions"
Krystian Sarrau - Baritone, tenor, alto & soprano saxophones on "Clairvoyants"
Cover photograph courtesy of Sarah Meyohas, from her "Speculations" series
Layout by Dehn Sora
to you all collaborators and contributors;
to my dear friends & beloved family;
to Clémence Rovelon, Charlotte Pila, Pierre Georges Desenfant, Chris Garneau, Sam Wentz, Karen Rudd, Raoul Gatepin, Philippe & Claire Rigollet, Eugenio Caria, Martin Dumais, Yoann Brighenti, Clément Rhétorie, Mathias Villard, Mike Keirsbilck, Nele Buys, the Dale Cooper Quartet families;
to the listeners.
SOULCXI / SOUL0111
February 2015 - September 2017
"His most wide-screen slabs of electronics to date".
"Frenchman Maxime Vavasseur weaves an apocalyptic ambient tale that manages to soothe even as it scares".
LAS VEGAS WEEKLY (Spencer Patterson)
"Intensément synthétiques, tirant un fil d'ariane entre Badalamenti et Fennesz, ces huit plages sonnent comme un chaos contemplatif"
"What sort of music features on Orients? I have avoided overtly addressing this question as it is tough to easily describe, and as already mentioned, the effect it has regardless is profound".
ANGRY METAL GUY
"This is a highly recommend piece of work, one that will definitely keep you entertained for a long time".
MERCHANTS OF AIR
"Le disciple de Tim Hecker et de Ben Frost signe avec Orients son album le plus personnel et aussi le plus abouti à ce jour".
L'OMBRE SUR LA MESURE
"Il emboîte le pas de nombreux artistes : Kevin Shields, à Phil Spector, en passant par Tim Hecker bien sûr, mais aussi Rafael Anton Irisarri. pour la veine plus électronique. [...] Une oeuvre de l'instant, résolument physique et vivante, un polaroid d'une période trouble et angoissante."
"Impossible alors de se complaire dans les sensations et sentiments qui s’invitent au fil des morceaux, on bascule avec grâce d’un état à un autre, tout autant instable et fragile qu’ébloui et assagi."
MES ENCEINTES FONT DEFAUT
EVENING OF LIGHT
"An overwhelming blast of light. An uneasy blend of the melancholy and triumphant, this is perfect music for looking out of the window at 35,000 feet, breath fogging the window pane".
"Lost in a hallucinated sequence of disturbing landscapes, in search of an irremediably lost essence."
"A heavily synth based ambient album. Witxes takes you onto a dreamy soundscape of discovering ones true self and realizing the disconnect we have from the world itself".
INTUNE (Top ambient albums of the year)