WL//WH Review: FRITURE “Carnet de Synthé” EP

WL//WH Review  Friture

Friture is a DIY bedroom Casio pop project of Yohan Future out of Grenoble, France. A deceptively simple, monochromatic and minimal sound, mainly built with a 405 Casiotone, a bass and a drum machine with a sprinkle of guitar, recorded on a multitrack, with little equipment, over the year 2020.

Yohan weaves an atmospheric, indwelling torturous, densely emotive ride through 6 brief sad pop tunes of weird and murky nostalgic charm and forsaken feelings, punctuated by slow, hypnotic and chugging rhythms, that lilt mechanically and ineluctably, along with bleak pulsating basslines, relentlessly stabbed by both fizzing and sizzling, reedy keyboard flows, drifting over numb, detached, melancholic male vocals releasing heartfelt pain through an angsty monochromatic meditation of cathartic ruminations under a thick blanket of a looming gray sky, only occasionally pierced by the sunlight.

All the stories are tied together with the angsty helplessness of a spectator who continually gets transfixed in the heart by the inconceivable actions of others.

Drawing a bleak portrait of noxious child slave labour, the opening “Polyester” wavers somberly over a monotonous hypnotic pace and obsessively pulsing riffs, cut by whirls of piercing, plaintive hoarse sax reverberations (courtesy of Total Control’s Al Montfort) crying to the sky, acknowledging the young innocence while thinking of his own child.

A clear all-encompassing French vibe is highlighted in the lazy pop quality of “Désapé” where, due to Farfisa organ-sound similarities, seems to evocate Stereolab shadows, describing a couple who go out for drinks only to be harassed by the selfish behavior of another; the aloof bitterness of “Les Plages De Tes Vacances / The Beaches of Your Vacation” instead recall Eli & Jacno without the tinkles in the refrain, cloaked in circular forsaken sad synth harmonies, diving into the capitalist consumer toxicity that occurs when the drowning of a refugee child is hidden from the public so as not to disrupt the mood of the vacationers.

Apart from my blurry bygone Gallic remembrances, the thought-provoking lyrics keep on hitting a series of powerlessness throughout, as in “La Question Qui Tue / The Question that Kills” which really pulls at the heartstrings when a young child asks a parent about Death, amidst swelling bass pulses, anguished winding keys stabs and rickety guitar riffs.

Possibly my fave of the lot, lead by an undulating bassline “Clar Obscure” is a poignant portrait of the numb isolation experienced at the hands of depression, as never before the lustrous Casio sound floats, pumps, swells, ultimately stepping on the gas in a hopeless freeing downhill at breakneck speed towards the unknown.

The EP ends emotionally strong with “J’entends Tout / I Hear Everything” penetrated through by abrasive guitar strings, while the raspy keyboard chords swirl and desperately stretch out around the forlorn voice going back to childhood with the inner thoughts of a little kid listening to his parents’ fight, again.

Someone suggested to me how all could have been in the hands of a good arranger, if to be so ‘naive’ makes any sense nowadays… in a post-modern era made of useless plastic and unbearable exteriority, we do still like and absolutely need Friture‘s synth notebooks ‘handwritten’ in old-style…

Friture‘s 6-track debut EP, “Carnet de Synthé”, is out now, on Cassette & Digital, via French label Arvo Disques and Brisbane’s Eternal Soundcheck. (the label run by Matt Kennedy of Kitchen’s Floor).