In his new album Anti-Matière, Alexandre Navarro pieces together sound design, sampling, and delay, in a constant search for what he calls a “sensitive minimalism.” His compositions drift between electronica, ambient music, and post-rock – a seemingly inharmonious mix. Surprisingly, Navarro manages to smooth over any inconsistencies through a spacious use of musical poetry; he manipulates the rhythm to strategically evoke emotion, leading each song to encapsulate its own narrative.
The Montreal-based record label Archipel Musique released Navarro’s album on March 20. Anti-Matière, meaning ‘antimatter’ in English, proves to be an apt description of his nine track collection as he explores the liminal spaces between beats. “Sextant” displays traces of constancy through repetitious tapping, but then subverts the listener’s expectations with the introduction of new sounds. Midway through, the song pauses for an uncomfortably long period of time before returning to the rhythm of soft thuds.
Alexandre Navarro was born in France in 1974 and currently resides in Paris. Known as a “French master minimalist composer,” he is a self-taught guitarist, composer, and independent producer. In the early 2000s, he studied electroacoustics and concrete music at the Conservatoire de Bordeaux. He also pursued anthropology at the same time, in which he specialised in history of ideas and religions.
Today, Navarro is the founder of numerous labels: Sem label, Eko netlabel, and DISQ AN. He is also an experimental ambient guitarist as well as a sound artist, and had decided to focus more on his own music as of recently.
The album closes off with with its ninth track “La Seconde Porte,” where the sound of fireworks create an electrifying spark in the otherwise hauntingly empty piece. As the fireworks fade off into the distance, the listener feels simultaneously calm and apprehensive – lulled by the decrescendo yet waiting for something to happen.
Check out Anti-Matière at bandcamp.com/album/anti-mati-re.