AMN Reviews: Frédéric D. Oberland – Même Soleil (2021; IIKKI)

Frédéric D. Oberland is known for his contributions to Oiseaux-Tempête and for co-founding Nahal Recordings. Même Soleil is his third solo album, an organic, trancelike excursion into parts both familiar and unknown.

Oberland takes the concept of the solo album seriously playing all instruments himself, including analog synthesizers, mellotron, flutes, alto sax, duduk, vocals, percussion, electric bass, and guitar. To this, he adds field recordings and tasteful drum programming. At points, Oberland toys with structures that approach Riley’s In C , in that small, repeating themes combine and fall apart in minimalistic patterns. With an emphasis on synth, strings, and percussion, he provides slowly-evolving motifs and patterns that combine subtle jazz and blues inflections with sound collages. The unrushed nature and haunting weirdness of some of these pieces have a psychedelic air…one in which strange noises flourish in the presence of a one-man jam session. As the album progresses, it takes on the feel of a low-budget 1970s science-fiction movie soundtrack, and does so in an utterly charming fashion,

Même Soleil is one of those “greater than the sum of its parts” releases. Fresh, unique, and different, this one gets two thumbs up.