EKORCE Evokes a Sonic Realm of Safety and Solitude With Latest LATIBULE LP
Updated: Apr 5
Latibule is the second full-length LP from Ekorce, the downtempo brainchild of French musician Kyrian Nicolay-Kritter. Spanning eight delicate, thought-provoking tracks, Latibule was written as an ode to spaces that inspire stillness, creative reflection, and the healing of inner tensions. These peaceful zones, tucked away from the chaotic hustle and bustle of the outside world, allow us to peer deep within the confines of the muddied self. Here, with enough time and patience, dirty currents of thought settle and distill, revealing the pure waters of contemplation and the hidden harmonies of silence. Safety, solitude, and introspection—these are the qualities of a "latibule" that Ekorce taps into throughout the LP in order to elicit a sense of emotional levity balanced by kinesthetic grounding. This unique sonic approach walks a fine line between the warm, inviting sound of safety and the crisp, challenging vibrations of self-scrutiny. By weaving to and fro with elegant passages of solitude, Ekorce inoculates Latibule with an undeniable feeling of e x p a n s i v e n e s s. On the surface of Latibule, a battle rages between warm, tender, simple sound design and cold, crisp, complex sonic arrangements. Underneath, the density of Ekorce's beautifully detailed melodies and complex compositions plays against the sparsity of solitude—the truly brilliant aesthetic focus of Latibule.
Diving into the depths of Latibule, one is immediately struck by the presence of refuge, of safety and security. Through uncompromising sound design, Ekorce paints his canvas with soothing brush strokes and warm, balmy colours. For instance, the booming low-end and, in particular, the bellowing kick drum of "Ephemeral" anchor the song in the present moment, where regrets and anxieties fade. In a similar vein, "Urban Sorcery" unleashes an enchanting array of vibrant timbres and lush tones. From the tune's woody percussion and atmospheric chimes to its swampy, squelchy bursts of bass, every last nook and cranny is animated by a sweltering hex that leaves you feeling all warm and cozy. "Wake Up" also derives an ample amount of dynamic energy from hearty wavetable synthesis. The song's captivating hook emerges from an impressive intermingling of crunchy, glitchy, texturally disparate parts. Ekorce blends these sonic elements with masterful precision, thus crafting a warm, welcoming motif that shines with a bright, dynamic light. By consistently selecting such lively, sunny sounds throughout Latibule, Ekorce encourages us to put our guard down and tune our mental engagements inward. In turn, this in-vitation sets the stage for the more introspective elements of Latibule…
With the mood of Latibule established, Ekorce begins to explore his inner landscape by means of audio-neural correlates. Let me explain what I mean by this. In order to galvanize a state of contemplation, Ekorce musically depicts what it feels like to meditate. In other words, he takes neural states of consciousness (what it feels like to think) and creates auditory qualities that correlate with such mental activities. The end result of this process are musical passages that work wonders on the brain. Rather than writing music that moves the body, Ekorce has designed music that moves the mind. An exceptional example of this can be found throughout "Vertigo." Here, the spirally, crinkly textures of synths and sound effects make their way into the folds and wrinkles of your neocortex. As the resulting crackles of electricity ripple outwards, hidden mental tensions are ironed out. Mirroring the experience of active, contemplative modes of meditation, "Vertigo" mimics the bubbling up of subconscious energies and the ensuing lightning bolts of thought that sparkle and splinter into conscious awareness. "Il Était Une Fois" accomplishes an analogous effect with gentle grinding textures and shivering atmospheres. Especially when compared to the warmth emanating from the rest of Latibule, these chilly ingredients serve to solidify "Il Était Une Fois" as the reflective pinnacle of the LP. Aligning with the experience of passive, reflective modes of meditation, the song's various sonic verses seem to arise from the abyss, freely floating around with little regard for time or space until they simply fade back into the ether. These encounters with the transitory audio entities of "Il Était Une Fois" bear a remarkable resemblance to the practice of watching one's mind with detachment. In meditation, as intrusive thoughts appear, the mere act of indifferently observing them releases them from your brain's grasp to naturally fade away. Whether intentional or not, these audio-neural correlates employed by Ekorce inject Latibule with a layer of metaphorical detail that unifies the album's mood and narrative.
The true magic of Latibule, however, lies within its theme of solitude. The opening title track quietly announces this by utilizing patience, silence, and ethereal pacing. Patience is on prominent display in the overall arrangement of "Latibule," whereby an unwavering swell of tension is built up ever so slowly. This delicate growth of sonic pressure is occasionally liberated by means of rhythmic relief, but never completely dissipates until the very end of the song, thus culminating in bigger and bigger payoffs. Ultimately, silence is the glue of solitude, and Ekorce wields stillness to orchestrate the comprehensive aesthetic of Latibule. Interspersed all over "Latibule" are rhythmic hesitations, subtle suspensions of flow, and sensitive idiosyncrasies that contribute to a sense of calm—a serenity so powerful that it breaks through the density and complexity of Ekorce's layered production. This sparsity is also evident in the deliberate, dreamy pacing of "Latibule." Perhaps the most striking property of the song, its passive tempo and flow cast a spell that synergizes with every single sound, texture, and melody. Even during the most intricate moments of Latibule, like the upbeat "Silk Mother," Ekorce makes room for solitude by patiently building suspense, interspersing glitchy glimpses of silence, and executing a dexterous control over pacing. In "Silk Mother" this solitude is crystalized as the initial calamity of the song steadily winds down in its second half. The subsequent disintegration of entangled elements into a lucid string of discrete sounds is incredibly relaxing. "Point Nemo" delivers a commensurate impression, except with the song's buildup, not its breakdown. As novel reverberations spring forth, they are at once permeated with solitude and weighed down as if stuck in a viscous, syrupy medium. As the song evolves, these sticky sonic substances reach outwards, albeit feebly, as they remain grounded—tethered to their inner solitude.
The sparsity of Latibule is a stroke of genius. We've come to expect precise production and meticulous compositions from Ekorce, but he has definitely leveled up with this latest release. Latibule magnifies the musical prowess of Ekorce with an elevated focus on mood and intention. By harmonizing the depths of his scrupulous production skills with a unifying vision of solitude, Ekorce has forged a trailblazing path of cutting-edge downtempo music with a meditative flair. The dynamic compositions of Latibule feel fresh and invigorating, and yet, somehow, they manage to calm you to your core. This paradoxical equilibrium is rare in modern electronic music. Running parallel to this contradiction is the ironic state of the world whereby we're thrust into a fast-paced, stressful existence with few sanctuaries of solitude to escape to. At times, this facet of modern life—too few quiet places to collect ourselves, not enough safe space in which to heal—is so ingrained that it feels like an inevitability. But this is not so(!), for Ekorce has contrived an artistic, sonic source from which peace and serenity flow. This source, an imagined and secret place, is available to you, right now! It's called Latibule and it was crafted with care, reverence, and purpose.