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  El Siete Es La Luz  
  French Teen Idol  
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El Siete Es La Luz is the third full-length release from French Teen Idol, who is, logically, an Italian artist. Specifically, this is the project of Andrea Di Carlo, who is from Rome. For this release, he decided to go all Radiohead on us and distribute it himself, mostly electronically (available anywhere MP3s are sold), although you can order a CD from his website if you insist on being old-fashioned like that.

The thing is, this is a rather worthwhile release. Di Carlo makes a sort of mellow droning electronic post-rock that is similar to the work of Worriedaboutsatan or Lights Out Asia. Heck, there is even some M83 in the mix, making this a fascinating pastiche of the current wave of electro post-rock.

The album starts off with Rome Shrugged, in which a stuttering IDM beat clatters beside some long droning distorted guitar notes, in a paean to the fast-paced life of a modern Roman. He follows this with I Want George Soros, in which guitar and drums start off in a vaguely Robin Guthrie like vein (similar to his work on the 3:19 soundtrack), before suddenly veering off into an explosion of noise, with the guitar riffing fast under distortion, the drums pounding away, and Di Carlo singing wordlessly in long drawn out notes that seem to stretch the tune out even further.

After that ruckus, Di Carlo calms things down with War Is Kind, at least initially. This song starts off slowly, with a faint tinkling of piano and some synth strings. Then after about 2 minutes, a voice comes in, distorted and harsh. This is Daniela Di Rocco, the sole collaborator on the record, and she recites some depressing poetry about the terror of war, while strange echoes and mangled percussion (which sounds kind of like automatic weapons fire) is layered in the background. It starts off lovely, and becomes eerie. Well done.

Di Carlo does let us relax on Fragile Chords, the next track, which is an ambient mix of synths in different layers. It is actually very nicely done, and the tranquility is needed after War Is Kind. The next two tracks, The Constant and Last Train To Santiago, are lovely post-rock tunes that remind me of Lights Out Asia, or some of the work of Port-Royal. Guitars echo in layers, gliding up against synths and simple drum riffs. I do not mean to downplay these two songs, as they are both rather lovely in a sparse and mellow sort of way.

Next Di Carlo gives us the title track, which starts with what sounds like a sample of a train engine chugging along, before he layers in some nicely echoing piano work. The piano carries the song, providing both rhythm and melody against a faint synth background.

Finally we have Prendre Son Temps, which clocks in at almost twelve and a half minutes. This is sort of an overture of what Di Carlo is doing, starting with a long epic piano and synths section, before exploding with loud drumming and tortured guitars, which then fade into an ambient haze, then disappear altogether. After a minute or two of silence, he is back with a frenetic electro beat, clattering away under some guitarwork like he used on The Constant. I wonder if this is supposed to be a hidden track? If so, well, the "hidden track" phenomena kind of breaks down when you are distributing your music as a series of files… Is this two tracks separated by a long pauses, or one long track with a silent interlude in the middle? I dunno, but i guess it doesn't matter too much.

I have to admit that i enjoy El Siete Es La Luz. French Teen Idol are doing things that are exactly up my alley, and i think that many of our loyal readers will find much to enjoy on this record, er, download. Find much to enjoy in this download. That sounds weird when i read it back, but i guess i am just not really familiar with the new lingo yet.

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