AMN Reviews: Moloch Conspiracy – Baclou (2019; Eighth Tower Records)

Baclou is the name for a Guyanese evil spirit that can be summoned to do harm to a person. There are varying descriptions of a Baclou’s physical appearance, none of them appealing. Baclou is also the title of an experimental release from Moloch Conspiracy (Julien Lacroix), and is based on Lacroix’s experience in French Guyana.

Instrumentally, Lacroix uses cello, malaka, djembe, tama, detuned piano, synthesizers, and field recordings. Thus, this release should not be confused with the more strictly synth-oriented Northern European style of dark ambient music. Instead, it reflects on Lacroix’s venture into the tropical jungle with a heady, organic mix of birdsong, shakers, sparse percussion, and crackling elements. Behind this are slow, menacing waves of synths, cello drones, and bursts of white noise. The result is a suffocating amalgam that evokes the humid, equatorial environment, as well as the voodoo that still influences the inhabitants’ beliefs.

Ultimately, Baclou offers an oppressive psychedelia embodying both natural and supernatural dangers.  Not unlike last year’s Cave of Metaphysical Darkness & Lights, Lacroix intrepidly explores a tenebrous theme in an immersive fashion. Well done, indeed.