Medieval Electronics: The Occult Techno of Renart

The process of making art can be confounding to those who aren’t creatively inclined. When it’s spoken about, it’s often enshrined in secrecy, described using the kind of sacred language often reserved for the spiritual—or, on the other side of that same coin, the occult.

By the same token, the occult is often explicitly referenced in music; look no further than the work of ‘70s rockers like Black Widow, or the contemporary psychedelia of Ghost. In the music of Frédéric Destres, aka Renart, the connection to the occult is more explicit—Destres is a Professor of Occult Sciences at Paris’ La Sorbonne. To date, Destres has released several EPs of propulsive, synth-heavy songs that draw heavily on his studies of otherworldly texts and practices. He’s now preparing to release his debut LP, Fragments Séquencés (“sequenced fragments”), on the French label Cracki.

“In both instances—in my academic work and my musical arrangements—it is a question of manipulating dangerous energies,” Destres says. On Séquencés, he translates those “dangerous energies” into the acid-synth rave of tracks like “La Prise du Pouvoir,” and the tensile movement between ambient keys and electronic imitations of nature on “Cyber-Moineaux.” This back-and-forth between danceable energy and introspective soundscapes turns up throughout Fragments Séquencés, as the relative calm of “Cyber-Moineaux” transitions into the gently oscillating synth bass of “Souvenirs Miroirs,” all of it held together by Destres’s masterful percussive programming.

Read the rest of the feature on Bandcamp.

[This piece was published on 17/11/17]