Mlada Fronta – Dioxydes

Previous releases on Parametic already showed impressive artwork and packaging. The visual aspect is clearly important for Rémy Pelleschi, look for instance at the stunning digipack of his latest Mlada Fronta album ‘Oxydes’. A dvd was perhaps a logical next step, though an ambitious one. Time nor effort were saved to make ‘Dioxydes’ into a feast for eyes and ears. It already starts with the packaging, a heavy metal box. Inside a booklet with loose glossy cards can be found, with architectural photos, a card for each track of Dioxydes.

Then it’s time to put the region-free dvd into the player. I raise the tension by looking at the extras first before watching the chore Dioxydes part. There is a mini lp called ‘ Le cycle du soleil’, with computer graphics (fractals) supporting the atmospheric electronic sounds. Furth two versions of a trailer called ‘Long time after’, with images of a dystopian metropole. There also is a radio documentary (visually enhanced), including an interview with Rémy Pelleschi, in which he tells amongst others about the history of Mlada Fronta (which started in the early 90’s as a 5-piece band in the style of Killing Joke). He also explains that he does not fell connected to the popular ‘French touch’ movement (Daft Punk, Air and others), his industrial roots are too different for that. Even details were thought of, like two different versions of the credit titles, which tell at the end that the dvd is dedicated to John Carpenter. There’s also a data cd-rom part, including artwork, photos and a Quicktime video of a Maschinenfest performance.

Then the 12 brandnew tracks of Dioxydes. The music is everything you expect of Mlada Fronta: detailed textured electronic adventures and subtle rhythms, with lots of cinematic atmosphere. Compared to earlier work, the music seems to be more tranquil and ambient, which makes it perhaps even more enjoyable and beautiful to my ears.

It soon becomes clear that the sounds and images are perfect companions. I see both modern, futuristic architectural landscapes and rusty derelict industrial areas, images I usually envision when listening to Mlada Fronta. As the dvd progresses, the films seem to become more abstract, with many close-ups of obscure ,mand-made and natural objects. There are both straightforward shot images, as well as digitally manipulated effects. My favourite piece is probably MnO2 (again all tracks are named after chemical elements), with the strong shapes of modern windmills as visual counterpart. The films don’t tell a clear story, though they make you think about our urban enviroments and perhaps the social-geographical direction we’re heading in. You could distract critical messages from the films, about industrial waste and over-crowded, anonymous cities.

Normally I’m not a big fan of the dvd format, I seldomly watch dvd’s of for instance live registrations multiple times, so cd’s and records are just fine for me. But in the case of Dioxydes, music and vision really enhance each other, it’s a stimulating multimedia trip which I want to experience more than once.

artist: Mlada Fronta
label: Parametric
details: 2005 [20.f]