CD-R, Mornelande Music, 2007
“Genocide”, the self-released debut from Canada’s Element, a one-man-band dark electronic project, is a thoroughly ambient selection of songs, but not quite an atmospheric one. To elucidate: musically, Guillame Giguere, the fingers on the keyboard that is Element, is an undoubtedly accomplished musician, as evidenced by the gorgeous melodic piano styling of “The forgotten” and “Les milles collines”, but he is not yet as comfortably ensconced within the genre as he could be. His composition and arrangement skills are both highly developed, but the vast array of instrumentation available to him is yet to be fully explored. The sound manipulation, effects and engineering throughout the CD are primitive – but possibly to be expected from the first release of a producer who describes his own sound as “minimal”. This repetitive sound unfortunately masks some great potential – tracks like “Jouons de la machette” could, with minimal tweaking, develop into excellent dance possibilities – rhythmic, yet still musical, a quality much lacking in a large proportion of contemporary computer-generated music.
Two versions of the title track, an “R” and “S” version, each with its own distinctive interpretation. The latter, however, is far catchier, displaying bouncier percussion and a more interesting interpretation of the main melody.
Overall, when viewed as a demo, the naive qualities of the recording fall away, leaving the listener suitably impressed with some pretty clever compositions. Rather than list any negatives, then, I would rather deliver some advice to this aspirant: one, take a more organic approach to your sequencing, as the rigidity of your breaks are a bit awkward; two, record some vocal tracks, or insert vocal samples, as this will tighten up the whole, as well as increasing its appeal; and three, request some remixes, as collaboration will only expand the possibilities of your work. The groundwork has been laid for what can be an exciting contribution to the dark electronic scene; all that remains is to inject a bit more dark-and-nasty texture into the mould.
— David vander Merwe