Review: Hifiklub – Mayol

hifiklub_mayol_coverFor the first 20 minutes of Mayol, Hifiklub are ascending. The crowd noise of France’s Toulon stadium – as captured during a rugby match – goes from a deafening roar to a mere speck in the field of hearing, as drums and bass propel the music upward in steady shunted bursts. Guitars wander in and out, wispy and intermittent like clouds, as piano keys roll and tumble like the boastful acrobatics of passing planes, almost drowning beneath the harsh (noise) winds of high altitude. The looseness of their improvisation feels like bodies slackening into the anti-gravitational updraft. The band drift apart as currents of air drag them away from one another – embarking on little solos of self-indulgence – before swerving back into parallel. Still rising.

Finally, they’re out of the atmosphere. The closing half of Mayol is vast and serene, tracking the band as they somersault away from the earth and into the depths of space. Winds disappear and ambient keyboards mimic scattered star constellations instead, filling the vacuum with reverbs that extend like tendrils of solar shine, while low rumbles signal the rotations of nearby orbiting planets. Little traces of crowd noise still pass through, but they’re memories or hallucinations now; souvenirs of an earthly experience that has since disintegrated into a hushed, vaporous form of improvisatory music, rendered surreal through mysterious processing and exagerrative echoes. Eventually, the bodies of Hifiklub are gone. Sound exists as incidental rustles of ride cymbal, comatose piano lines and field recording leakage. Human impetus disappears, and Mayol evaporates beautifully into spotless nothing.