Boomkat Product Review:
Shapeshifting concrète/minimal-wave enigma Anne Gillis presents a killer new album for Japan's Art Into Life label, cleft between entirely new material and re-workings of her 1983 debut, in a highly distinctive style that blurs boundaries between synth-pop, art, and concrète madness. Huge tip if you’re into anything from Tara Cross to Throbbing Gristle, Ghédalia Tazartès to Two Daughters.
‘Vhoysee’ is Anne Gillis’ second solo album of original work since her 5CD retrospective ‘Archives Box 1983-2005’ revealed her as a sorely overlooked voice of post-industrial musick with her own singular catalogue of riches. She would effectively stop releasing new music for decades between ‘Euragine’ (1994) and her return in 2021, and in the time since she’s carried on down a unique wormhole of practice in the fissures between rhythmic noise and avant experimentation, with results comparable to an elegantly punk Éliane Radigue, the oblique synth-pop experiments of Tara Cross, or - at a contemporary level - Ronce’s textural fascinations.
On ‘Vhoysee’ she proceeds along those scattered vectors with a collection of eerie whirligigs, domestic potterings and underwater chanson that gets right under the skin, while also reviewing and reworking her early self in unsteady transformations of 1983’s ‘Angebiguë’, an incredibly scarce self-release that escaped the clutches of the near-comprehensive box set survey. To be fair, it all sounds like material that could have been made at any point in the last 50 years, possessing a spread of hallucinatory, melodic kernels on fractal opener ‘Carriole fantôme’, to warbling, water-damaged love songs recalling John Duncan’s ‘Bitter Earth’ on ‘Bangkok la unit’ and the poltergeist rabble of ‘Ect’. She conjures utterly beguiling between-world concrète on ’Soupier’, while recapitulating her early self on the deliciously aqueous avant-songcraft of ‘Cheveux d’Angebiguë’, the back-combed loops of ‘Brumes reverses’ and minimal wave apparition ‘Cinolm’.
Gillis makes music lost in the flux of time and space, following emotionally abstract trajectories that seem to defy logic but which gradually lull you into their own space, walking a tightrope between pop music sensibilities and pure, elevated art.