KARELLE – Richter

BLWBCK035 | Release Date : 13th May, 2013
Tape {55 c.} C20 + digital advance

Karelle is the unearthly avatar of Pierre Desprats, a body without organs returning from afar; a speleologist guided by voices, creating sacred sculptures without culture. He returns with “Richter”, a study of the space of intimacy sinking into social codes, which mirrors Karelle’s descent into the darkness of the underground.
If the opening “Cave” seems to carry on Karelle’s tradition for sexless electronica, “Caverne” marks both a turn in the narration and also in Desprat’s talent for down-tempo grooves and meandering melodies. This scientific approach is even more obvious on “Benjamin Confidence”, his most noisy and experimental piece to date, Karelle opens up a core of unstable emotions, new fields of research at the bottom of the cave, whilst avoiding emotional blackmail and keeping concepts part of his mystery.

01. Cave (6:01)
02. Caverne (4:24)
03. Benjamin Confidence (10:00)

music by Pierre Desprats / 2013
original cover picture copyrighted by C.H. James in 1882.


An intense twenty-minutes, Richter is another cassette release this month, countering any uncertainty about the medium’s resonance with experimental musicians. The opening “Cave” is an ear-cleansing blast of potent, dialled up electronica, with a ghostly screaming choir ratcheted up over industrial beats. It’s not exactly easy listening on its own, but from there things get more experimental, with “Caverne” a effective field recording of subterranean ambience. The final track is a mix of the two approaches, with invasive dialogue dominating chunks of the piece, and screams that could be machine-derived or – more chillingly – human. It’s a powerful work, gradually descending into the cavern, away from light, warmth and into a dark world, where we are left alone with our fears. Not exactly good time party music, then, but an EP than underlines the unlimited possibilities of electronica. – Jeremy Bye for A Closer Listen

Karelle is mad. ‘Richter’ is a baffling journey down aural bipolarity. Nothing here is stable. Everything breaks itself apart for fun. Calm moments on here find themselves infused with a palpable uneasy tension. At any possible moment the pieces could collapses. For fun sometimes Karelle lets that happen. Textures here are one of the high points. Letting the sounds roam free means there are no restrictions at all. Occasional blasts of noise are welcomed into the fore. ‘Cave’ starts off on a rather quiet note. The sound is quite beautiful. Hence it is a bit of a shock how Karelle deliberately muddies the waters with a guitar played through numerous filters from miles away. Simultaneously aggressive yet far away it manages to explore whatever it feels like with total abandon. Eventually the beginning elements return back in to try and impose some semblance of order. Honestly this is the most straightforward song on the entire album. After this comes Gregorian chant. Yes it feels extremely classical in origin with perhaps a nod to metal. For the finale though is the longest and strangest track ‘Confidence Benjamin’. Apparently confidence for Benjamin is a distorted disorientated affair. No melody no rhythm it is pure free form. Random shouts only confirm how isolated this track truly is. By mixing together very separate elements (pieces of 80s long gone, Gregorian chant, and deeply weird aural experiments) Karelle creates an environment of complete unease. With little chance of escape and even less concern for melody, Karelle works on a visceral level. – Beach Slot (7.1/10)