Review: Mas – Géométrie du Coeur

CoverThe landscape of Géométrie du Coeur is, quite vividly, a city at night. Shadowy characters press into the walls of high rise buildings, hunching away from the observant glow of streetlamps. My peripheral vision stirs with stray animals and flickering electricity, as the landscape sits in an eerie air of discontent and brittle civility. Low string drones cling to my stomach, in the audio evocation of “something doesn’t feel quite right”, while spoken extracts of films and interviews (in French and English) dance upon the darkness, often either distressed or sinister in their spoken tone. Percussion clangs and taps in monotonous patterns, like the hydraulic ghosts of abandoned factory spaces. This isn’t a space I’d choose to occupy for too long. A 27-minute running time is quite enough.

The record is frequented by an archival vinyl crackle. As such, there’s a sense of time displacement – the presence of memory and lingering haunts, clinging to the folds in rough faces and the dust of derelict streets. Despite the presence of spoken samples, there remains a sense of “the unsaid”; a backstory that Mas are reluctant to express, buried within the fabric of these six brooding pieces. Like the protagonist of a film noir, the duo offer only glimmers of the complete picture through moments of stillness and seemingly innocuous gestures: sudden trickles of Mediterranean blues, the distant clang of bells, gentle droplets of guitar. Even when the electronic percussion starts to hammer at the membrane – with bass drums thumping with visceral force, summoning panicked swarms of ghostly choir and strange swathes of gaseous noise – Mas refuse to divulge. I depart Géométrie du Coeur none the wiser, yet plagued with an insatiable, rather unhealthy desire to know.