The trail of breadcrumbs Parisian artist Keumel has left behind him thus far leaves the possibilities wide open for his debut album. The result of a residency away from the distractions of the city, The Quiet Face Of A Silent Storm arrives on Diffuse Reality in an electrifying rush of machine funk – a consolidated creation sprung from a focused period of inspiration.
Keumel’s journey into electronic music production began during an extended period staying in San Francisco 10 years ago, during which time he connected more deeply with the American club music tradition. On his return to Paris he became immersed in the city’s party scene with his Jekyll&Hyde crew, as well as forging vital connections in Brussels. Following a breakthrough track released on respected house label Local Talk, Keumel went on to self-release a number of EPs before hooking up with Chez Damier’s Inner Balance Records and the LumieresLaNuit and Bleu Nuit labels.
Throughout these releases the Keumel sound has taken shape as a fluid distillation of influences ranging from Detroit techno and electro via Chicago and European acid to the many manifestations of bass music from the UK and elsewhere, not to mention his parents’ voluminous, eclectic record collection and the pervading echoes of French touch which soundtracked his youth.
Since his uncle first passed him seminal 90s albums from the likes of Roni Size, Massive Attack and Aphex Twin, Keumel has been on a journey of discovery which culminates in this honest, faithful collection of tracks. It’s a physical experience which holds true to the dancefloor, but in line with his influences, these are also pieces of electronica to be listened to and savoured – much more than simple DJ tools. And in true album style, it moves through varying degrees of energy and intensity – at times forthright and driving, elsewhere dreamy and gentle.
In Keumel’s life outside the music, there were chaotic factors which couldn’t help but feed into the resulting tracks. In that sense, it’s a faithful document of where he’s reached on his own journey – an album as a moment in time, tacitly reflecting on what has passed and gearing up for ideas and inspiration yet to come.