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act 244 · diaphane · samdhya · cd

1 nebula
2 les hautes terres
3 platinium
4 signa
5 petals
6 the icefield
7 isthme
8 undefined
9 chandra's breath

in 2008, régis baillet and jérôme chassagnard decided to pause their project ab ovo and to continue with solo projects. while j.chassagnard's first solo album (f)light was released on hymen records, r.baillet formed diaphane and began to work on samdhya (which has now been released on ant-zen).

samdhya (sanscritic for 'twilight') emanates an atmosphere of reassurance and slight melancholy. soothing soundscapes and complex rhythms form a mixture of ruminant and impulsive tunes which hypnotize and stimulate at the same time. the well balanced acoustic and electronic instrumentation, in places enriched with voice samples, result in an enthralling, cinematic feel.

diaphane's aural cosmos has to be explored like an undiscovered continent; those who are curious and open minded will certainly be richly rewarded.

discography diaphane 02.2k10:
samdhya. cd. ant-zen act244. 2010

discography ab ovo on ant-zen:
le temps suspendu... . 2cd. ant-zen act158. 2004 empreintes. cd. ant-zen act176. 2005 mouvements. cd. ant-zen act197. 2007

diaphane on the web:


a review in russian language can be found on the machinist's website:

vital weekly
people who has been following the catalogue of german master-label of industrial music, might have heard of jerome chassagnard and regis baillet's project aba ovo - a very interesting idm-based project. personally i was eager to listen to this side-project called diaphane from the joint-venture between the two french sound artists. there is a tense melancholy upon the album with some excellent synth-layers sometimes reminiscent of the soundtrack of a horror-flick. the rhythmic parts of the album first of all stays in the midtempo pace with electro-textures shining through. another descriptive element of the expression is the clever use of electro-acoustic sounds of acoustic instruments, first of all piano. highlights of the album could be tracks like the trippy piece "platinium" with touches of goa-trance saturating and the horrific john carpenter-reminiscent piece "the icefield". also the album closer titled "chandra's breath" is a gem with the beautiful melodic piano tune assisted by simples of children's choir. generally every single track on this album contains a nice cinematic character making the album seem like visions from the inner-cinema. (nm)

with diaphane, ant-zen puts a new act into their roster. well, the person behind it is not really new, as it is régis baillet, who is one half of the duo ab ovo, who released some albums on ant-zen too. with diaphane, baillet continues his musical skills in a solo direction. the album starts with 'nebula', which has the ab ovo sound written all over it; combining deep soundscapes, emotional melodies and progressive rhythms to an effective whole. the song begins with a very dark, somewhat organic soundscape, to build up to a very intense rhythm oriented part, to eventually end into a spherical soundscape again. 'les hautes terres' is a very lush and haunting song that uses some additional vocals of lousse. it has very striking and progressive sound that will for sure be stuck in your head for days! 'platinium' is again a rhythm oriented song, very much in the hymen records style of idm. things slow down again with 'signa', which starts with some deep synths and choir elements and uses a simple but very effective melody, which reminds me of the melody in the lucio fulci movie 'setti note in nero' (which was also used by tarantino in the first 'kill bill' installment). nearing the end the song becomes very orchestral. a really good and effective song! 'petals' feels like a very icy soundscape, something that could be found on the glacial movements label. as the song progresses there are synth rhythms and very sweet melodies added. while the sub-layers might be cold, it's a very warm song. as the song title promises, 'the icefield', we continue in the realm of icy weathers. the song starts again with a kind of icy sound elements, but later on gets much more rhythmic. 'isthme' starts of with some abstract sounds before it kicks into rhythm. there are some melodies added like in the track 'signa', but gets heavier nearing the end to have that ab ovo touch again. 'undefined' is a very mysterious-sounding song with some ominous soundscape elements. as the rhythm and melodies kick in the sound turns somewhat more serene. the song works to a very intense climax of beats and melodies. the album ends with 'chandra's breath', which is a very droney soundscape. the sound is very progressive and swallows you a whole as you listen to it, to end in some very atmospheric and fitful samples. with diaphane, baillet makes a very passionate and emotional debut album with 'samdhya'. the album is extremely atmospheric and cinematic. most of the tracks have a very quiet build-up, so things don't get hurried. it is a very relaxing album but also has some very intense pieces. while fans of ab ovo will definitely recognize the sound on this album, there are still lots of surprises to be uncovered. every track goes very deep and is open to interpretation. at its heart a very introvert and self-reflective album, while not shying away for some harder sonic moments. a very high recommendation! (fabian)

régis baillet aka diaphane is the half of the duo ab ovo, which take a break in 2008. a man who cares about the art he creates, one of those who doesn't make a job when he creates music, music is passion, vision, a dream, a different world, a new universe. this statement sounds to extreme to your ears? have a look or better an ear to diaphane's debut album called samdhya, released on ant-zen. this album will change your musical notion in 58 minutes radically! its not the thing that régis reinvented the wheel again, it's the way he let it roll! his nine-track masterpiece is a cinematic album, dispersing a kind of... hmm, enthusiastic melancholy. yes you've heard right, his complex soundscapes and demanding rhythms weight a ton, but the music is light as a feather, able to fly around the world in a day being smoothly windswept... his music takes you away to secret corners of your world - it opens your eyes and let you see your known environment in different colors. this is big music without making waves, this is art, this is a great headmovie, this is heartblood... a very important album!

diaphane est ce qu'il convient d'appeler un projet solo, en l'occurrence celui de régis baillet, moitié du duo de musique électronique ab ovo. son activité créative née en 1991 avec jérôme chassagnard est néanmoins mise entre parenthèses depuis 2008, même si les plus attentifs ont pu remarquer quelques inédits signés ab ovo sur plusieurs récentes compilations parmi lesquelles "electronic aid to haiti", "emerging organisms vol. 3" ou encore "kod.ex electronic compilation". c'est donc le moment opportun qu'a choisi régis baillet pour créer, seul, un premier album, immense, "samdhya", d'une richesse mélodique et mélancolique telle que l'on n'en a pas entendue depuis longtemps. on pense à certains climats rencontrés chez b r oad way comme sur petals, mais le chant en moins et l'imaginaire en plus. calmes mais tendues, construites par l'empilement de lourdes couches sonores d'ambient posées les unes sur les autres comme autant d'émotions difficilement contenues, les neuf compositions se font tour à tour mécaniques et inquiétantes (the icefield, platinium), ou au contraire humaines et désarmantes (les hautes terres,chandra's breath). un souffle, une expiration, c'est exactement ce que l'on garde en mémoire écoute après écoute de "samdhya" : l'émotion reste intacte, et le charme opère avec tout autant de précision que la respiration silencieuse et ô combien rythmique d'un être humain. (bertrand hamonou)

electro-ambient geneticamente evoluta quella concretizzata dal francese régis baillet, protagonista fino al 2008 in comunione con il prode jérôme chassagnard dell'ex progetto ab ovo, dalla quale esperienza régis prolung˜ il filamento sperimentale congiungendolo ora alla neo-creazione diaphane il cui album samdhya", ovvero "crepuscolo" in antico sanscrito, si dichiara fortemente originale, ipnotico e perfettamente proporzionato al suono ant zen, la super-label alla quale è affidata la pubblicazione della release. l'album pu˜ con ogni ragione essere circoscritto in quel contesto sonoro tanto caro all'ascoltatore progredito, distinto, cerebrale, concentrato sulla sostanza e sul dettaglio tecnico più minuzioso: la piattaforma diaphane accomuna tutto ci˜ che esige questo sottogenere di pubblico strutturando tracce complesse, dalla morfologia sonica elaboratamente effascinante inquadrata in un diagramma intelligente ed elegante, come la selettiva label impone. la tracklist gravita attorno a nove fulgidi esempi di electronic-art introducendo inizialmente la vitrea "nebula", dal comparto tastieristico inserito all'interno di un finissimo congegno percussivo-sequenziale anteposto all'eterno incedere della successiva "les hautes terres" e le sue traquille espansioni di progs che codificano struggenti intermittenze sintetiche. rendimento ritmico più elevato ed intricate textures ad un passo dall'idm in "platinium" che precede nell'ordine di apparizione la susseguente "signa", dai mesmerizzanti e ripetitivi tocchi di piano campionato punteggiati da uno scricchiolante tracciato ritmico mid-tempo. si giunge quindi a "petals", pacata ed elegante, impegnata ad emanare cepuscolari estensioni di laptop così avvolgenti ed educate antecedenti a "the icefield", dapprima quasi impercettibile ed in seguito sviluppata su corposo e-drumming e robotiche scansioni di progs. una prolungata, ronzante onda elettronica ingloba il freddo teorema di "isthme" che esplode in un drammatico reticolato di pulsazioni percussive, atmosfere ultra-futuristiche create dalle tastiere e pungenti microonde sequenziali, continuando la sperimentazione con "undefined", episodio concepito dalla tecnologia più avanzata, scandito da un'asciutta ritmica idm immersa in un'architettura sonica di keys dalla timbrica metallica ed elaborazioni computerizzate. "chandra's breath" si dispone in veste electro-ambient ingentilita da vocii fanciulleschi che si mescolano al rombo tastieristico ed agli scintillanti tocchi di piano. eccellenti arrangiamenti, splendide interconnessioni con l'avanguardia più affascinante: come non essere fatalmente attratti da un album di questa elevatura? non è semplice condividere elaborati contenuti di musica così specifica i cui significati rimangono pertanto ermeticamente celati all'interno di "samdhya". la teoria che predilige la qualità e non la quantità pare adattarsi perfettamente a quel ristretto manipolo di fortunati "eletti" che possiedono la sensibilità per apprezzare l'intricata natura racchiusa in tracce soniche di intelligenza superiore: régis baillet è probabilmente dotato di talento ultraterreno.

nachdem das französische electronica-duo ab ovo im moment zu ruhen scheint und jerome chassagnard mit "(f)light" schon im vorigen jahr sein solo-debüt veröffentlicht hat, legt nun die andere hälfte nach. auch regis baillet setzt bei seinem projekt diaphane auf die wechselwirkung von rhythmen mit ambienten strukturen, wobei im gegensatz zu der luftig-leicht-federnden variante des (ex-?) partners sein entwurf etwas schwerer ausgefallen ist. so sind seine beats deutlich wuchtiger und die rhythmik mehr electro-lastiger ausgefallen, wie der ambient-score-anteil mit seinen monotonen klavier-texturen wesentlich düster-melancholischer tönt. besonders das stilmittel der leisen töne bis hin zur stille reißt dabei so einige löcher in das album und so hätte ich fast noch den letzten track "chandra's breath" mit seinen verhuschten kinderstimmen verpasst. dies hat natürlich ebenso seinen reiz und insbesondere im kontext zum solo-album von jerome chassagnard, lässt aber zusätzlich auch rückschlüsse auf die arbeitsweise von ab ovo zu. in der gemeinsamen summe hätten beide solo-alben nämlich ein spannendes neues ab ovo-werk ergeben und es bleibt abzuwarten, wie es diesbezüglich nun weiter geht. (m.fiebag)

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