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new record by delphine_dora “L’Inattingible” is an extremely magical sound world, highly recommend if you need something inspiring right now

French composer Delphine Dora first crossed my radar when she collaborated with personal favourite Mocke Dépret on the gentle, gossamer 2017 album ‘Le Corps défendant’. She now presents the intricate, densely detailed ‘L’inattingible’ on Three:Four Records which continues the sonic journeys first embarked upon by great Gallic avant-folkies like Brigitte Fontaine and Emmanuelle Parrenin but possesses its own oneiric yet unsettled aura. A cursory G**gl* search suggests that the title translates as ‘the intangible’ – while the music might not present as easy to grasp at first, there is something delightfully difficult to put your finger on about its magic. A wide variety of guests include Fonal Records artist Lau Nau, Sylvia Hallett and Aby Vulliamy from The One Ensemble of Daniel Padden. Here are the bookends by way of introduction…


Trop d’amis (dont Sylvia Hallett, Le fruit vert, Lau Nau) pour tous les nommer, trop d’instruments pour tous les énumérer colorent cette épopée fantomatique signée Delphine Dora. Cordes, vents, synthétiseurs analogiques, sons électroniques, accordéon, bruits divers : c’est un véritable orchestre là-dedans. Mais tout en retenue. La Française invoque avec ce disque en français une spiritualité éthérée ancrée dans les éléments, prenant son essence dans un passé païen et gothique. Demi-incantations, les mots de Dora sont faits d’une poésie du mystère et de l’émerveillement. Les courtes pièces de L’inattingible (déjà, ce titre, c’est beau, non ?) sont une illusion psychédélique collectivement assemblée sous la commande d’un cerveau rêveur. La beauté du geste collectif, c’est qu’il tisse un enchevêtrement anonyme. À qui appartient cette voix, cette note, ce râle ? Qu’importe.


A beautiful lullaby-esque soundscape, this. The soothing French vocals a paper boat floating out on a lilting tide of gentle disquiet, instrumentals that subtly blur boundaries. Something that’s especially true of “L’inexploré”’s panoramas, with an avant classical verve where the fragments of narration ease you elsewheres.

Dora’s invited lots of like-minded musicians to help her sculpt this recording, including Pefkin’s Gayle Brogan and Fonal’s Laura Naukkkarinen (Lau Nau) amongst others, an array of talent fleshing out Dora’s unique piano/vocal work with plenty of extra colour. Aeolian chimes, stones, bicycle wheels and musical saws, as well as a tirade of chorusing extras that calligraphically dine, slip psychedelically into your ear.

L’inattingible is an inspired piece of work that’s attentively observed, its shapes left to mirage, elusively flutter as they unearth buried sensations from the sediment. A shadowy blush here and there, spinning sweet sinistrals, conspiring sonorities that grasp you with their strange dialogue, tonal tensions stalked by chalk-faced Nosferatu(s) and turbulent tarantulas. Dora’s spoken/sung words often feel like autumn leaves spiralling on up-swirls of broken chord and stretchy discordia.

Everything breathes this warm spatial awareness, “Dans La Torpeur Du Lacunaire”’s theremin kites and butterflying piano flowing outside their containment, visually filling your mind with suggestive atmospheres. “Kynance Cove”’s labyrinthine caves vividly re-animated in “Lumiere Aveugle IV”’s dripping precipitation and chipping pebbles as Dora’s whispering intertwines this wavering varicose of voila, slowly succumbing to an eerie unison of otherness. A sweet delirium that holds you captive, captivated, cuts through all this February greyness with its felt-like warmth.


Late night shift w/ Julia Holter

Yesterday evening, Julia Holter hosted the Late Night Shift show on Belgian classical national radio Klara, playing a selection of music ranging from avant-garde pop, classical choir music, Italian folk, lofi r&b and more. The show exclusively features an extract from her live performance at the Meakusma Festival 2019. Holter also selects a song by Delphine Dora who will release an album through Meakusma and three:four records in the near future.
Late Night Shift can be listened to for a month on the Klara website or through their app.