Les Discrets: Live At Roadburn

Alcest’s sister band step into an alternative timeframe

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Cited as the culmination of Les Discrets’ first phase before Neige and Winterhalter stopped playing live with them to focus on Alcest, this should perhaps be considered more the capturing of a moment rather than a period, as this live album is rather more specific than all-encompassing.

For one, the lush atmosphere is brilliantly recorded (unsurprisingly for a Roadburn performance) in a way that draws you powerfully into the performance, but does so without scrubbing out the idiosyncrasies that add to the spontaneity – be that a slightly different rhythmic delivery to a vocal line when compared to the recording, or a straightforward mistake such as the brief snippets of feedback in ’Echappee and Au Creux De L’Hiver.

More than that, though, this has that curiously otherworldly feel of the festival it was recorded at, like this performance is taking place in a bubble of a different reality rather than in the real world. It’s so gripping, the slight loss of dynamics when compared to either a performance or a studio recording don’t harm it in the least. Beautiful and mesmeric.