It’s a different avenue for Rone, but also it’s a groundwork to the future of how electronic music can be laid down, especially in the European school of electronica.
Finally, an album by an acclaimed French electronic musician that does not sound so distinctly, well …. French. We have all experienced the piggy back of the Daft Punk generation and second tier DJs from France. I don’t know about you, but for me, it’s been flogged to death. I’m pointing fingers at you, Le Castle Vania. If DJ karaoke existed, Daft Punk’s “Around the World,” would be a heavy hitter, and those analog keytar sounds resurrected by bands like Les Rhymes Digitalis, it’s time to put those back into the ‘80s. Is a band like Justice really doing the french scene justice? I think not. It’s time for something new, something innovative.
With Rone, he proves that you don’t have to spin off the heels of the french electro swirl to make a statement. However, in order to succeed, you may just have to get out of the country to escape that trapping. And that is what Rone did. He moved to Berlin, the Taj Mahal of music masterpieces. Hell, you just say the word Berlin to an audiophile and they get goose bumps. And the German electronic scene? Talk about innovative!
Back to Rone, Tohu Bohu excells with greatness. You hear it immediately on the first sone, “Templehof.” The effect of the German city is apparent. The sound is bold. There is a big impact to this song and with a degree of awe and wonder, it’s envisioning a kid walking into Disney’s Magic Kingdom for the first time.
This is where the differentiation really begins because at the magma of this music is a musician who is passionate about the soul of his sound. You can feel the sweat that is poured into each composition like an archetict bleeding ink onto blueprints. How things on “Bye Bye Macadam” are so refinely layered, the notes swell in glory. The beat takes it’s time to register, but when it does,lazy as a drawl can be, it is explosive in being effective.
And the level of awareness that comes from the hooks, mysterious angles, and wonderfully-played loops is exquisite. “Fogu Kiss” is just an accentuation of “Bye Bye Macadam.”
“La Grande Ourse” and “Beast” bring in gentle elements of the french Hip Hop scene. Although not distinct, artists like MC Solaar and Disiz Le Peste come to mind. It’s enough to realize that these songs act as real statements and just not hyper-sensitive solar flare or big beat party vibe. More of a direct approach is Rone teaming up with High Priest to conclude a more U.S. verbalized rap number than his influence of 2000s french Hip Hop. Nonetheless it’s a statement in and of itself and an act of versatility.
Rone cannot completely get away from the french sound. “Parade” offers a soft tinge of the landscape while exploring possibilities of where it can all go.
Tohu Bohu is one of the finer electronic albums to come out this year. It’s a different avenue for Rone, but also it’s a groundwork to the future of how electronic music can be laid down, especially in the European school of electronica.