Marvellous gamelan-infused maximalism

Who They?

Pascal Bideau is a French, London-based neoclassical composer and multi-instrumentalist who has made music for companies like Hyundai and Dior and – perhaps more improbably – for a documentary about Manchester United, ‘The Class Of ‘92’. Following a trip to Indonesia, Bideau became absorbed in gamelan music, a rhythm that so obsessed him, he set about creating a whole project based on its alacritous percussive dimensions.

Why Akusmi?

Akusmi is Bideau’s chosen alias for ‘Fleeting Future’, his debut album, which is also the first release on Tonal Union, the new label from Adam Heron (formerly of Erased Tapes and Gondwana Records). It’s a vivacious inaugural release, mixing gamelan with repetitive, Steve Reich-like ostinatos that burst into maximalist electronic cascades, accompanied by skronking blasts of jazzy wind instrumentation. Upbeat, curious and full of enthusiasm for what hasn’t yet happened, the motivations behind ‘Fleeting Future’ are certainly more welcome than all those dark takes about impending doom for the planet. “The future is fascinating,” says Bideau. “It is constantly readjusting to new events. I feel we left a linear approach to the future to enter an arborescent one, where all the data and information we have about what could happen is exponentially ever-growing.” So there you have it.

Tell Us More…

The energy is infectious throughout, with each track developing in ways that sound at once haphazard and precise. The title track transmutes into an aural dreamscape of celestial loveliness, while ‘Divine Moments Of Beauty’ is less obvious, bridging the jazz age with the information age in a cosmic melange. ‘Neo Tokyo’ ramps up the dissonance, making for a ride that’s both punishing and thrilling, like a Pandora’s box unleashing hundreds of sounds from the Fourth World all at once. ‘Fleeting Future’ teems with the unexpected, just like the future itself.

‘Fleeting Future’ is out on Tonal Union

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