FAUSTO MERCIER – FULLSCREEN Review

FAUSTO MERCIER‘s FULLSCREEN is the latest mind-bending excursion on Prague-based label Genot Centre. Assisted by remixes from fellow Genot freaks r hunter, Ice__Eyes, and Forces, MERCIER pursues complete textural immersion via a series of 13 vertiginous, unpredictable sound trips.

FULLSCREEN proves Nagy is a world-class alchemist and architect: as the title implies, the devotion owed to every sonic detail is incredible. Each sound, however briefly it surfaces, is rendered with alarming clarity – distinct, yet entangled. It’s like deep listening for web fiends. There’s barely time to process the fullness of what you’re up against before it mutates into something else entirely.

Opener “FIRMEST FINE” introduces MERCIER’s uncanny command of texture and form; serrated synths and alien breaks shift without warning, veering toward a climax that’s kept frustratingly out of reach. It’s both the dopamine-shot of a long-promised drop and a cheeky DJ’s refusal to satisfy the audience. Imagine one of those YouTube clips of famous DJs trolling their audience processed through a gleefully perverse neural net.

Despite the thrilling volatility of tracks like “FIRMEST FINE” and “HYPER”, MERCIER’s productions shine equally when he allows a more limited set of sonic objects free range. “REVEIN”’s more identifiable set of sonic characters (mangled soprano writhing against plucks, scrapes, oscillating noise) all surge sickly toward a nonexistent climax. This structural antagonism is one of FULLSCREEN’s most effective tools. It’s easy to forget that a person made this – it sounds so fully formed, existing on its own terms, following its own otherworldly physics.

Then, before the album tears through a suite of mutant-club exercises, there is “KNOWTOHOWTOKNOW” – caustic, mournful, chords: an abandoned drone searching for signs of life. It’s the album’s sole moment of emotional vulnerability before it veers off course (what course?) into its most red-blooded and club-ready tracks. “MIND BUSINESS” and its accompanying remix from Ice__Eye’s are especially fun: unrelenting torrents of plasticky kicks, gleaming acidic synths, oscillating noise, all rushing toward “CHECK REALITÉ”’s elegiac outro.

The relative restraint and austerity of this last track follows the decomposition of what came before it; bristling static and machine drones burrow deep beneath the club’s concrete and clay, a methane-choked subterranean trip. Dim flashlights catch tails of glitched insects; we hurtle through a narrow excavation in the pursuit of intimacy, immersion, complete textural devotion.

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