Congrès du Monde - Un dimanche d'exécutions (english)

A square where you used to play, as a child. A square you dream about regularly as an adult. That you see again under an unreal, magical sun, under a light of eternity.

A large house whose wall overlooking the square is pockmarked, riddled with holes and stains; you imagine it, without really knowing why, as the setting for countless deaths. Capital executions, en masse. Men and women with their backs to the wall, then shot, in a black and white world where it seems to be always cold.

Shot dead on a "Sunday of executions" – a strange, haunting expression, which you are sure is the title of a book you would have had in your hands, only to realize later on that it does not exist.

Not far from this square, there are fields and orchards. You have been haunted by them too, since your childhood and dreams where they seemed to stretch out infinitely like a primordial steppe. You also visited them, daydreaming in front of a computer screen, in "Sapiens" or other primitive and fascinating games, without really distinguishing in your imaginations the unreal spaces of the game from those that you physically walked through in your everyday life.

These unforgettable fields stretched from the back of the building where, as a child, on Sunday mornings, you would listen in your bed to the bells ringing the mass, in the distance, with the impression, although you were not able to formulate it, of living a moment of eternity.

Those bells that one day will finally ring, truly, for eternity; an eternal Sunday, an eternal springtime, an eternal Easter.

Little by little, you remember that on this square where you used to play was a half-timbered house, very beautiful, very old, which the locals used to call the Executioner's House. There was a Calvary just in front of it.

Sunday is the day on which we replay – for real, as the children say – the execution of Christ, his sacrifice, but also the day on which we celebrate his Resurrection.

The bullet-riddled wall on the one hand, the orchards on the other, that cohabit.

You remember your grandfather who is now waiting for his own resurrection. He was repairing planes, and after the war had helped to restore the nearby airfield. You had grown up in the noise of the engines, high in the sky; an interminable drone which gave the daily life a mixed feeling of protection and threat; the Sacred on the one day, the reign of the Technique on the second hand; you did not have the capacity to formulate it anyway.

This grandfather had been on the Eastern front. In direct contact with the two totalitarianisms of the century. Caught up in Satan's war against himself.

The mass executions of totalitarian regimes are human sacrifices; the Race, the Proletariat, the New Man, are bloodthirsty gods.

Instead of the Perfect Sacrifice, a century of countless executions.

It starts with hiss, thick electronic hiss, old audio cassette hiss. It's also the world's sonic backdrop: there's no such thing as silence. Hiss is a sound space in which other sounds unfold. It delimits, it welcomes. Then come the distant church bells. The call to Sunday morning Mass. Then we hear the characteristic hum of a floppy disk drive. Sunday is not only the day of mass; it's also the day of rest, and of exploring imaginary worlds, through books as through a screen. Then the real music begins.

Un dimanche d'exécutions is an album that you couldn't say if it was recorded yesterday or 25 years ago.

"I am conscious of having, for the first time I believe, with Un dimanche d'exécutions, composed something that was deliberately cryptic, incomprehensible and difficult to appreciate for an audience other than myself. My past projects sought to please, or at any rate to communicate to the public something they could appreciate; this work is truly autistic, it was composed by me and for me, for my tastes, to move me, to resurrect, in my mind, very personal and very precise memories."

The music's drowned in clicks and hiss and the only recognizable instrument is a poorly sampled synthetic guitar note – and all this produced this sound which seems tired, worn out, over the years, like a photo that fades and decays.

"The echo I systematically applied to the instruments is for me the sound translation of distance in time, memory, dreams, death, mystery."

The three melodies have a primitive, clumsy, very amateur and old-fashioned side, which makes them moving, full of nostalgia; they evoke as much some projects of the 90's which typically used this kind of unrealistic keyboards, as the musics of the old video games of this same decade.

Men and women with their backs to the wall, then shot, in a black and white world where it seems to be always cold.

We don't find many ambient or industrial records, evoking the second world war, which place themselves on the side of the victims and the total rejection of the war. Throbbing Gristle probably saw things this way and so did the first industrial bands, but since the wave of neofolk, martial industrial... there is essentially an aestheticization, under the cover of a more or less hypocritical denunciation, of the war, of the authoritarian regimes, of the soldier as a hero, and so on.

That said, the melodies and the atmospheres on this record are rather pleasant, not at all "dark" or "depressing". Rather soft and dreamy like a peaceful and sunny Sunday of childhood.