Samuel André was born in France but moved to Japan to explore sound and visual artistry. As a self-taught composer he founded a label named Pollen Records and released his debut in 2012. For the new album, Lueurs, André was contacted by the highly acclaimed Eilean Records from France. In short, Lueurs is a stunning sound adventure that flirts with music where analog equipment and field recordings create something you can only imagine in the dreams I mentioned in the previous paragraph.
For the timekeepers, there are five tracks on this album. The shortest lasting for a bit over six minutes and the other four between twelve and nineteen minutes. However, the strongest aspect of the album is its sense of concept and continuity. 'Forêt Vierge' opens where 'Eclipse' faded away, with odd chants and a haunting atmosphere. That way the songs, or tracks, are perfectly mixed into one another.
The most amazing aspect on this album is its continuous flirting with music, as I mentioned before. This is not music in the strict sense of the word. There's no rhythm, hardly a melody and definitely no repetitive, easy to follow sequences. This is a complex structure using a multitude of sounds. Some of those sounds often create something resembling a melodic element but it's far, far away in the background.
However, 'Vers Le Soleil' suddenly turns this album into a beautiful neo-classical piano and strings driven piece of actual music. If we still imagine the dreams in the first paragraph, this is the spot where you will reach an ancient, sunlit ocean at the edge of the gloomy and dangerous forest. Soundscapes, field recordings and drones fade in an out, enabling the listener to float away with them and relax. Maybe this is my favourite track on this album.
Lueurs is an amazingly beautiful album, even in its dark atmosphere. It never gets overwhelming, annoying or boring and that's a huge challenge for sound art releases which often just turn into noise. Samuel André succeeds in creating dreamy worlds, a bit odd and bizarre at times but continuously enjoyable. As far as I'm concerned, this is an experimental ambient classic.