Roméo Poirier - Hotel Nota
If you plot a line between Jon Hassell’s Dream Theory In Malaya and Jan Jelinek’s Loop Finding Jazz Records, you’ll find this pearl lodged somewhere in between. Add in cover art that reminds us of the sun-bleached breeze of Antena’s eternally nostalgic Camino Del Sol and you have three of our favourite albums referenced in one paragraph. In other words; essential listening if yr into the aforementioned, or if you're in desperate need of some time alone, washed up on a beach, contemplating all that can be good in this life.
Following albums from Space Afrika, Perila, Jake Muir and Echium, composer/collagist Roméo Poirier debuts on Manchester’s sferic label with an evocative and beautiful round-trip to Venusian beaches and back. Working in the crème-concrète and exotica style that made his Plage Arrière a cult hit in 2016 (and on vinyl in 2019), Poirier conjures gauzily impressionistic beach scenes and heady sunny day feels from a fine mix of granular processing and bleached-out Balearic tropes in the dilapidated but deeply charming environs of ‘Hotel Nota’. Armed with a suitcase of floral shirts, trunks, paperbacks and a laptop, he checks into a lounging, relaxed and lush sound that appears to shift and shimmer with the iridescent aftereffects of a daiquiri or the warm, turquoise waters by his feet.
Taking up residency in an imagined lounge space where Hassell and Andrew Pekler could have once seduced each evening’s guests, Poirier applies his filigree sampling and rearrangement techniques with rarified, ephemeral effect to float from smeared Hassellian brass in Thalassocratie to smoky, ember crackle jazz in Le bematiste, and frayed loops in Du Rocher redolent of Biosphere’s Dropsonde, with half-recognisable motifs that thread through and tie the record together like tropical spider webs.
Poirier uses tactfully textured electronics and timeless dubbing to realise an electronic simulacra of a world which becomes real through its eccentricities and cohesive integration of sounds. Trust there’s no mosquito bites or sunburn here, but you may not be able to escape the feeling you’ve been on holiday after immersing in Poirier’s careful world building.