‘H+’ by JB Dunckel (Album)
The electro visionary from Versailles returns with more colourful and fluid dreamscapes to whet the appetite, if that’s your thing?
Jean-Benoît Dunckel is perhaps better known as one half of French music duo Air. The band’s flavour of downtempo electronica came to prominence during the mid to late 1990s, and it’s that dream pop vision that remains with the Frenchman to this day.
To say Dunckel loves synthesizers would be a huge understatement. Throughout his musical career the instrument has been used to create wondrous and epic songs – more like a crazed scientist than a seasoned musician. It’s that image that makes it less surprising that Dunckel, in fact, used to be a mathematics and physics student.
Fans of Dunckel’s countrymen Phoenix, who also hail from Versailles, and synth pop band MGMT will find H+ an interesting listen. The spacey synths and vocals are accompanied by captivating electro-beats. Opening song Hold On isn’t the strongest offering from the album, but the quality grows, so stick with it. By the time Qwartz and Slow Down sweep in and encompass the room, the impressive use of sound might be enough to win you over.
However, if the science of sound isn’t your thing, then the lack of dynamic range may induce a feeling of boredom. Individually, some of the songs burst with colour and are a pleasure to consume, but H+ is a tad too wistful.
Verdict: A little one sided