With many electronic or rock musicians moving towards abstraction, it is refreshing to witness a modern classical artist apply his minimalist techniques to pop and wave. Sylvain Chauveau does that, adding a warm, Martin-Gore-like voice to his trademark piano motifs and electronic manipulations. The resulting pop songs are deconstructed to the bone, but still strangely beautiful. Opener “From Storm to Cloud” with its uncanny buzz and vocals that almost establish a physical presence paradoxically creates a mood of cheerful claustrophobia. “Show the Clear and Lonely Way” is disrupted, and in fact erased, by an irritatingly rhythmic typewriter. Elsewhere, as in the devastating sub-bass of “The Unbroken Line”, Chauveau’s minimal wave deconstruction acquires a distinctly urban touch. Most surprising of all, however, are the tracks that could easily make it onto a Rough Trade sampler: “Complexity of the Simple” and “Slowburner (With Stillness)” could cater perfectly for indie mainstream melancholy, only to tear all formats apart, mid-word, in favour of a cathartic minute of blissfully static drone. Finally, album climax “A Cloud of Dust” – a title that will strike European listeners as prophetic – dispenses of any vocals for more than three minutes, before intimate vocal phrasing reminiscent of Coloma’s Alex Paulick stretches out to the listener.
Clocking in at about 32 minutes, this album is focused and condensed rather than epic. For all its minimalism, “Singular Forms (Sometimes Repeated)” has immense range and clearly profits from a good audio system. Either way, it’s always over too soon. Which is good, because I’ve found that repeated listens only add to its charm. 9/10 -- Jan-Arne Sohns (19 May, 2010)