Modular mountaineer Matthias Puech to release Alpestres, premieres track “Un incontro notturno”

Modular mountaineer Matthias Puech to release Alpestres, premieres track "Un incontro notturno"

There are “niche albums,” and then there are those albums that are handmade-synths-score-imaginary-Alpine-climb-level niche. Matthias Puech’s stunning Alpestres falls into the latter category, and if pressed, I’d say it’s the sole occupant. Researcher by day, modular mountaineer by night, Puech sets his compositions on an imaginative/empirical cliff face, creating a detailed document of a non-existent journey. Alpestres plays like the inverse of René Daumal’s great, unfinished Mount Analogue novel: the book positing an actual climb up an allegorical mountain vs. a soundtrack to an imaginary summit of the Alps (which I hear are real).

The Alpestres press release notes Puech “creates a vast collection of untouched electronica landscapes with modular synthesisers built by his own fair hands. With his various devices, he emulates the sounds of nature and gives sonic form to feelings, forming an alternate reality.” It’s more journey than destination of course, and the album progresses in an uninterrupted arc, at times evoking the monumental rock and ephemeral clouds of Alpine settings, elsewhere tuning into more emotional ranges — wonder, discovery, striving.

The album track “Un incontro notturno,” premiering here today, tends more toward the material side. It’s a craggy evocation of stone, so textured you can nearly grasp the sound in your soon-to-be frostbitten hands. Check it out down below.

The entirety of Alpestres releases November 9 on your format of choice: on vinyl through Hands In The Dark or on a tape from Obsolete Future. Or why not both? One for base camp, one for the top.

Boots and harness? Check. Carabiners and chalk bag? Okay. Here we go…

[Lowers tone arm.]

Alpestres tracklisting:

01. Badalisc
02. Flucht des Tatzelwurmes
03. Un incontro notturno
04. Talausblick vom Hohlichtpass
05. Juste avant le tourment
06. Krampus
07. Sculpté au fond de la fontaine, un visage d’enfant
08. Tschäggättä

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