Colleen, Colleen Et Les Boîtes À Musique

Andy Battaglia

By Andy Battaglia

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
The mesmerizing sounds of music boxes revealed

The only instrument more inherently mesmerizing than a music box is the gamelan, and that makes songs using music boxes made to mimic gamelans highly mesmerizing indeed. Gamelan simulations play out on two of the tracks on this EP of music box recordings that the fascinating French electronic artist Colleen made for French radio, but they're just two variations among many. Colleen had already used music boxes on her more spellbinding sample-based albums, but this one trades in music box sounds exclusively (except for some acoustic guitar on the gorgeous closer “I'll Read You a Story”). The chimes mostly go unadulterated in pleasant and dreamy snippets; otherwise, barely sourceable tracks like “The Sad Panther” trail off into effects-intensive electronic smears, while “A Bear Is Trapped” hints at an abstracted atonal version of “Pop Goes the Weasel.” Whether straight or bent, all of Colleen et les Boˆtes a Musique wavers between beautiful and eerie, earthy and celestial.