Frédéric D. Oberland – Même Soleil

Même Soleil is a new release from IIKKI, consisting of a dialogue between French musician Frédéric D. Oberland and French photographer Gaël Bonnefon. The collaboration was initiated by IIKKI in December 2019 and concluded in June 2021.

On Même Soleil, and as in previous IIKKI incarnations, image and sound coalesce, but the joining of the two mediums produces so much more than the sum of their own parts. When they meet at the intersection, you can expect the two contrasting artforms to explode in a fiery collision. This record offers up a spicy dialogue, a deep and pervading contrast between light and darkness, the two differing genders represented through its music and photography.

Même Soleil sees multi-instrumentalist Oberland in fine form. The music spirals into an uninterrupted stream of complexity, high detail, and originality; an ongoing battle between heaving dissonance and harmonic breakthrough. Despite its sketchy underworld, Oberland concentrates on narrative and drives the music forward with a real sense of momentum, keeping it on a barely-visible road that’s been littered with effects pedals and dark-glowing synths, but also infused with jazz-inspired, sharp-edged horns. Grainy, broken-up recordings of discussions and arguments on late night TV are beamed through and broadcast via the music, signalling the hour of midnight, and there’s no doubt that Oberland’s music favours the dark.

On this record, the aim was to ‘merge mystical visions of the unconscious and the absurdity of an apocalyptic present in a sensory whirlwind’, and Oberland’s music goes deep enough to encounter those exotic regions and inner psychological temples, as well as its outer world and its interactions with it. The two mediums strain against one another, and this can be felt as much as heard, a living tension existing between the brilliance of daylight and the infinite bliss of a night sky.

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