Following on from his latest album release of ‘Sonnet’ on the Kranky record label, musician and composer Thomas Meluch operating under the moniker of Benoît Pioulard, offers a companion piece to the album titled ‘Stanza’. The new album comprises 7 tracks that follow the same vein of ambient drone that was cemented on Meluch’s previous album effort. Much of ‘Stanza’ moves in swirls and drones, sustaining notes for long lengths of time rather than rapidly moving through them. Those who are more taken by Meluch’s slightly more experimental styles established on ‘Temper’ and ‘Lasted’ may find ‘Stanza’ to be a little too repetative, but those who enjoyed the sonic landscapes of ‘Sonnet’ will find this to be a wonderful companion to the album.
‘Stanza’ sees Meluch offering more of the ambient drone style of music that dominated his previous album effort. Whilst ‘Sonnet’ has elements of experimentation intertwined amongst the layers of varying instruments, ‘Stanza’ seems to offer a more drone-based ambient style, not throwing too much into the mix and letting the sometimes sparse layers speak for themselves. Everything results in an incredibly relaxing and sometimes beautiful album experience, really highlighting Meluch’s talent as an ambient composer. It’s arguable that at times there’s a somewhat repetative quality to what is being presented on ‘Stanza’, perhaps due to the nature of not over-complicating the mix with unnecessary elements and motifs.
‘Stanza’ comes across as another wonderful offering from Meluch, showing off the best of his ambient-techniques as did his previous album effort. It’s incredibly easy to allow oneself to get completely immersed and lost in the ambient drones being presented on the album, which never bombards or scares the listener at any moment. Those who enjoyed ‘Sonnet’ will no doubt find ‘Stanza’ to be a wonderful accompaniment, which certainly elevates Meluch’s position as one of the strongest ambient composers working in the scene today.
- ★★★★☆ 4/5
Benoît Pioulard’s latest album ‘Stanza’ is out now at: https://pioulard.bandcamp.com/album/stanza