As something of an Australian poster child for the female producer worldwide, it would be easy to chalk up Paris Forscutt – or rather her work under better known moniker Made in Paris – and it’s meteoric success as something of a tour de force built upon little more than a gimmick. It also couldn’t be farther from truth. And with her most recent short yet incredibly sweet six-track strong offering ‘Exordium’, Forscutt bares a brief but purposeful exhibition of just what it takes to be made into that very icon.
One that stops far short of overstaying its welcome, which is only to say of it that it leaves you wanting more and more. From the tone-setting opening house-y moments of the LP’s title track through the techno trappings of ‘Wasps on Mars’ to the melodic-house moods in ‘Elysian’, not a single track number is wasted to redundancy. There is a little bit of everything here yet all of it given the same level of detail, thought and care in both production and engineering to make every sound appear as if it’s happening in a real space – a common pitfall when considering the sterile nature of electronic production.
This is done through proficient use of found sound and foley and compounded by tasteful implementation of filtering, reverb, delay and more to create atmospheric ambiguity and spatial awareness. Sounds arrive upfront or far, to either side, above and beneath. It’s a phenomenon only made possible with sparse yet meaningful arrangements less about a multitude of instrumentation as they are about the designation of distinct and dynamic choices made about the elements that do reside there.
Following up these musings in the second half are the 4/4-abandoning ‘Nodus’ and minimalistic ‘Under Open Sky’, all of which’s absence of lyrical persuasion heavily lend a temporal ambiguity absent from most commercial releases. What results is a displacement of the listener just enough to never quite remember the length or position of any given listen.
Curiously, perhaps the most ironic of which is the vocal-driven oddity ‘Wonderlust’. As an acting epicentre of sorts, it’s the most radio friendly of the litter and the first to prick the ears so much so that early playthroughs seemed to be overshadowed by it. But perhaps even more fascinating is how subsequent listens really use it’s residing accessibility as something of a contrasting jumping point into the obscurity of the less immediately obvious surrounding tracks. It transforms quickly from being a favourite to the least revisited in the absolute best way possible due only to new favourites taking its place, a clear indication of how tactfully layered Exordium stands as a whole.
And that’s really what’s unique about Exordium. It has such an identity that it compounds that of the producer behind the work itself, creating the precursor of personality needed of the aforementioned iconography. We learn about Made in Paris through a nominated proxy – their brand of music. It’s a sentiment very much in tandem with the idiom of ‘music speaking for itself’. It’s a genre-defying, auto-biographical expose not afraid to of human elements, traditional instrumentation or faster-paced arrangement. Not just ably, but capably so, with omissions most importantly never due to inability. An absence of sound absent of place, time or spectrum, Exordium is a courageous mini-album with half the runtime of more ambitious releases yet easily twice their size in stature.