The ears behind Libreville Records prove once again their impeccable taste with their 6th release, which has essential status right away. From the majestic Afro fusion of Eko Kuango, via the neo classical bliss of Albert Alan Owen (see review elsewhere on the site), to the post rave electronic soundscapes of Nico Tzoukmanis, the main trait-d’union of the label is, simply, beauty.
Hope Is The Sister Of Despair, was first self released in 2013 on CD only, and is now issued for the first time on vinyl with four previously unreleased tracks. Tzoukmanis’ original manifesto to produce “melodic and moving ambient music inspired by Detroit techno and 90s UK electronica” is pretty much what you get here. This is synthesizer and sequencer based electronic music with wide influences, ranging from the intergalactic excursions of Tangerine Dream and the Cosmic Jokers of the 70s "Berlin School” to ambient Detroit techno, post rave bliss (‘Floating Free’, ‘Twinkle’) and the golden days of Warp’s Artificial Intelligence series (especially Boards Of Canada on the magnificent ‘Disorder’).
Melodic, pulsing, futuristic (the stunning ‘Free Hugs’ is all that) - this is emotional, late night / early morning post club music for the daydreamers, which fits perfectly with the current wave of nostalgia for the dreamy moods and comforting feeling of 90s techno (think Aphex Twin circa ‘Analogue Bubblebath') which has been coming back to the fore of late.
’24 Hours' could have been called ‘Lost in Space’ (a track from the original CD which was omitted on the reissue) as it sounds like the perfect last track at the end of rave circa Borealis ’95 or (let us dream) Houghton ’21. As always with Libreville the production is top class, wide open sound and classy packaging. Full points.