Review: Benoît Pioulard – ‘Lignin Poise’

Under the guise of Benoît Pioulard, Thomas Meluch’s magnetism toward textural ambient tones continues to grow stronger. On Lignin Poise (released by Meluch on limited edition vinyl and by Beacon Sound) Meluch buries all conventional song writing and instrumentation to immerse into an ornate drone ethos. If Benoît Pioulard albums bare music for life’s truly delicate moments (e.g. birth, first kiss, deepest romance, death, and grief), Lignin Poise offers a contemplative nod evoking our day-to-day rituals and subconscious life patterns.

“Hawk moth mirage” unwraps Lignin Poise in densely pastoral ambience. Lines shimmer in thick coats of looped drone as Meluch reveals a path into dreams. Just like the washed out, analogous trio of color threaded on the cover photo, Meluch’s sounds seem to evoke all the year’s sadness while occupying a serene stillness. “Same time next year” arouses this reflection while the voice forward “Vesperal” hazes the setting, like a heavy autumn fog engulfing the congregation in some drafty dated church. “On form” builds a structure out of gas and oddly shaped particles, mimicking the sound of growth. “Rook” brings a rustling of electronic leaves and decaying ambience. Spinning delicately, encouraging one to stare close to the infinite details nature whispers, “Rook” sounds too gorgeous to be constructed out of guitar, voice, and analog tape.

“Lignin poise” is the firm, unifying end. The hard consonant release of saying ‘Lignin Poise’ is a fine partnership of words, yet Meluch seems more in stride with the defining quality of those words as he provides musical shape and support. His grinding of thick, ethereal grains against an angelic hum releases each tranquil loop to collect in the canopy of towering oaks and maples. Lignin Poise ends as it began; cyclical and reflecting, always returning to a place of rest.

One of Meluch’s more pronounced gifts is collaging seemingly simplistic tones and sounds in ways that feel as complex as the caterpillar to butterfly. Lignin Poise poignantly parallels nature and simply being present in the small moments. Its no wonder Meluch packages his records with a Polaroid and/or found object; he’s reminding us beauty is readily available.

(Check out ‘Lignin Poise’ below via Bandcamp and get more info about the band on Facebook HERE.)

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