[€5 // Also Available on Vinyl & CD // https://leseulelement.bandcamp.com/album/meradiam]
The first thing I did after listening to this cassette, "Meradiam", was look up what the French word "seul" meant as it is in the name of the artist. Roughly, it translates to being alone, lonely or a bachelor. Putting that into the name of this artist would make the English version be something like "The Lonely Element", which is definitely a cool name in theory but still somehow seems more appealing in French. You just have to imagine this as being about someone on their own based on the name and that is something we should all be able to relate to as we've all been alone before.
"Meradiam" opens with a static jachammer build. It grows into something uplifting and then begins rising into space. It's hollow and haunting, ambient and then a static explosion into a fade out. An X-Files sort of piano loop emerges and yet I have somewhat of a banjo feel. There are sort of vocals and then a deeper piano comes in. There are quieter static beats and it begins to remind me of Illegal Wiretaps. Elements of an electronic Nine Inch Nails also come out, with slower pianos and whirrs that almost sound like crying.
On the flip side, we take a turn for the different. Guitar loops give way to pianos again and then the screaming comes out. It just reigns down heavy, man. Slower yet again, melodic piano reminds me of Lou Reed until it takes on a more solemn vibe with big pianos and vocals, which remind me of the song "Mad World". As it all comes towards an end I am reminded of the Nine Inch Nails song which chose to take us into The Great Below and I feel as if "Meradiam" is going somewhere similarly.
Somewhere between that darkness of Nine Inch Nails, that raw brutality of I Like You, Go Home and then the just plain melody of pianos is where I would put this one. If it was just heavy and had that Illegal Wiretaps feel to it then it would be one thing, but the fact that there is so much piano in here really says something. It's that beauty inside the chaos, that one extra step to go above and beyond and demonstrate the pure talent bleeding through in just the most remarkable way.