Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch reviews Anenon’s Camembert EP

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Anenon’s most recent release, the Camembert EP opens daringly, with Brian Allen Simon improvising on a bass clarinet, first elegant and subdued, snake charmer like, with echoes of Mulatu Astetke, before moving into a release of ecstatic freedom. It feels like a moment of letting go, of sheer enjoyment, captured and shared.

The fact Improvisation for Bass Clarinet is the starting point for Camembert is a strong statement of intent for the EP. Though the other three tracks are clearly composed, they still feel spontaneous. The relatively small number of instruments involved across the four tracks brings both coherence to a rather diverse EP but also seem to me as a way to avoid weighting down the creative process.

“Prune” is at the same time a heart racing 4/4 kick lead track, which also contains extremely satisfying rhythmical subtleties. Though in some respect mechanical, you can sense that the machine is operated by a human being, the music performed by a musician more interested in the feel of a take than its perfection. It evolves, takes you from a night out to the morning after, LA sunset to desert sunrise.

It does feel that geography can be sensed in the music. Los Angeles is Anenon’s home town, and where his practice is based, which seem to infuse his output with the dynamic and vast beauty of Californian landscapes as well as the buzzing madness of LA motorways.

The EP as a whole is altogether skillful, rich and straightforwardly enjoyable. From jazz, to ambient, to techno, yet always retaining a strong musical identity, protean and confident. The title piece exemplify this, joyful, glitchy, outreaching yet centered.

“One for C” closes the journey, blending acoustic instruments and synth beautifully, the whole track as a relaxed warmth and comfort to it.

Anenon’s Camembert EP is out now, and will be followed by the Petrol LP in January 22, both out on Friends of Friends.