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Rabit: Les Fleurs du Mal

Following his excellent debut record Communion, Rabit further explores the most devastating aspects of its sound in his sophomore opus Les Fleurs du Mal.

Les Fleurs du Mal

Halcyon Veil

2 Nov 2017

Back in 2015 Rabit was unleashing Communion in the experimental electronic scene. Combining extreme avant-garde motifs with an industrial perspective on top of the grime sharpness, Eric C. Burton released one of the most interesting records of that year. Blurring lines between genres, displaying an aptitude for taking things to the edge and the fact that Burton was not afraid to embrace the chaos of his music made Communion such an enticing listen, and in turn set Rabit to be a "not to be missed" artist.

Two years later Burton has launched his own label and is now releasing his new record Les Fleurs Du Mal. Borrowing the title from Baudelaire's famed work, the artist dives even further down the feverish dream he first presented. Where Communion still featured a sense of structure, allowing the tracks to have a foundation and progression, Les Fleurs du Mal completely embraces the abstract. The structures of Rabit's visions are loose and hazy, with the rhythmic backbone appearing sparingly through the dark corridors of this work. The beats, samples, clips, and synths that Rabit manipulates feel as if they are melting away, losing any sense of form in the process and moving towards a deconstructive vision of electronica.

Standing at the trajectory between drone and noise, Les Fleurs du Mal feature both the harsh and bright explosions of crushing cacophony, as well as the soothing and smooth soundscapes, crafting perfectly a record of dark ambiance. Moments like "Dogsblood Redemption" unleash the most excruciating face of Rabit, with the granular synthesis applications building a world impenetrable to light, while the atmosphere further constricts all who wander in tracks like the fantastic "Rosy Cross".

There is an almost elemental quality that Les Fleurs du Mal takes on, with the synths and processed sound morphing through the tracks. The delicate synth parts of "The Whole Bag" appear as blinking lights, adding more brightness to the otherwise dim atmosphere. On the other hand, the effects in "Dogsblood Redemption" take on a liquid form, with a slithering quality that makes it feel as if the music is coming from some damp underground room. More direct and immediate interpretations of this elemental approach can also offer a more bombastic result, as is the case with the fantastic electrifying voice in "The Whole Bag", making it appear as if the track has been suddenly struck by lightning, setting it ablaze in a relentless fashion.

With Les Fleurs du Mal Rabit appears to be traveling back to the core of electronic music. This decomposition and deconstruction, the return to the point of origin is as daunting and terrifying as William Hurt's primordial transformation in Altered States. As Edward Jessup was reversing evolution to uncover the elusive meaning of existence, in the same manner, Rabit moves further back with his sound, taking away the notions that provide comfort in music, such as rhythm and progression, swapping them for the abstract realm that Les Fleurs du Mal represents.

The fact that the record was co-produced not only by Cecilia but also by no other than legendary producer and Coil member Drew McDowell should give you a good idea of what Rabit is aiming for and what his pedigree is. The depth of experimentation, the harsh edge of creativity and the dystopian viewpoint suggest that Les Fleurs du Mal should be considered part of the dark experimental no-wave lineage. Primal, relentless and ever evolving.

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