Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Hall EP

Ready for another new French release? No, this isn’t from some big name label or a 2008-resurgence. Rather, this is an example of some of the exciting new guard from the country with a golden touch. Pyramid is a young producer from Lyon who gained some attention this past winter with his artful remixes of Air and Daft Punk. Today he expands from the world of remix artist to solo enfant terrible with his debut release, The Hall EP. With five songs and just over 25 minutes of playtime, The Hall EP is a delightful, spacey house affair. There are obvious similarities between Pyramid’s production style and Daft Punk, but as a young French producer (or any young producer for that matter), I don’t see how one could resist their influence. As Pyramid is also a seemingly ardent fan of strings, deep synths, and arpeggios, The Hall EP harkens strongly to the TRON Legacy Soundtrack (though granted, without the thousands of dollars worth of production equipment at his disposal). Clearly Pyramid draws a lot of inspiration from the Daft boys, but he has enough raw talent and vision to make his works more nods to his heroes than mimicry of them. Track 7 Suns sounds like it could be Solar Sailor II, and the stomping In Charge (probably my favorite track on the album) reminds me a more powerful End of Line. All the songs on the EP have quite a large feel—tracks run an average of 5 minutes per track, with the shortest still clocking in at over 4—the pieces seem function more as movements than as singles. Take, for example, the first single, Solar (which Pyramid is graciously giving away for free).

Solar--Pyramid


Clocking in at just over 6 minutes, Solar is divided into three distinct parts. There is firstly the celestial intro, decorated by arpeggios and a powerful kick drum. Then, three minutes in, you’re caught completely off guard by a new pattern of bouncing synth lines and hollow drums. It hops and buzzes for a solid two minutes before winding down, but suddenly switches on you yet again. Finally there’s a coda of sorts, characterized by a sharp, metallic melody and sparse accompaniment. The song ends and you don’t quite know what just hit you—it’s clearly a house/electro track, but it’s not anything like the pop-style prominent in the scene today. There’s no chorus, there’s little repetition of verse, and it’s a bit experimental thematically. But it works. For all of its abnormalities, it sticks with you. The whole EP echoes this feel. Honestly it’s a bit ADD in places, but Pyramid manages to hold the tracks (movements) together such that despite their discrepancies, they feel wholly communal. That said though, you can hear Pyramid’s greenness in the EP; at times it feels that the abrupt pattern changes or thematic shift of a song is due to Pyramid’s indecision rather than careful calculation, but give the kid time to find his stride. This is, after all, his first effort. And if this were a test, in my book he would pass with flying colors. The Hall EP showcases a new, budding talent, who, with a bit more time and experience under his belt, will undoubtedly develop a stronger sense of personal style and at that point will become perhaps unstoppable. The Hall EP is available on Juno here, and on Amazon here. Hop on the bandwagon now, my money is on this kid.

And as if I needed to demonstrate the Daft Punk similarities any more, here is a bonus remix he did of the classic Something About Us. Now, mind you, I usually hate Daft remixes. Why remix perfection, I always say. But this one? This one is oh so right.

Something About Us (Pyramid Remix)--Daft Punk


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3 comments:

Daniel said...

I don't know how you do it, but every image you guys find for your posts look really cool. Sorry, I know it has nothing to do with the music. Just an observation.

Daniel said...

I really like the Daft Punk remix. Stellar. Thought I would throw something in about the music.

Sidenote: This was very well written. My favourite part:

"Clocking in at just over 6 minutes, Solar is divided into three distinct parts. There is firstly the celestial intro, decorated by arpeggios and a powerful kick drum. Then, three minutes in, you’re caught completely off guard by a new pattern of bouncing synth lines and hollow drums."

Awesome post Mikayla. I love it.

Mikayla said...

hey, you can totally comment on the pictures haha. it's MUCH appreciated. i spend probably just as much time looking for them as i do for music. :)

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