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A review of...
Le Monde Inversé by Ivan The Tolerable
Hot on the heels of Ring Around The Country (an 8" EP released by Endless Records in April) and Autodidact (a self-released 10" recorded under the guise of Ivan The Tolerable and Friends) Ivan The Tolerable returns with a brand new record, Le Monde Inversé, the "soundtrack to a film that was never made". And where Autodidact saw Heffernan dabbling more confidently with synths, here we get what is more or less a full blown ambient/electro album, in stark contrast to a lot of his other work in the more guitar driven realms of Year of Birds, King Champion Sounds and Shrug. In many ways it's surprising that this is even being released under the Ivan The Tolerable alter-ego, Heffernan has others to choose from after-all, and this is a record which is probably closer to the dark ambience of Detective Instinct than the DIY raucousness of those early Ivan The Tolerable releases. The songs are atmospheric, relaxing and at times surprisingly short, it's like Heffernan has taken the direct "get to the point" remit of punk rock and applied it to the usually more dawdling ambient genre. The tracks are clearly separated like scenes from imaginary film that he's scoring, taking in an array of ambient and minimalist influences and actually sounding an awful lot like XAM Duo's last record (whilst not quite going full on kraut-rock), which is no mean feat. Like on Autodidact, Ben Hopkinson's saxophone plays a prominent part in these recordings, giving the cold synth a more organic, smokey jazz club counterpart (especially on track like "Vallee"). Elsewhere, fans of Bitchin Bajas recent work will be very much at home with the meditative, pulsing electronic rhythms of "La Champagne" and "Marecage", two highlights of this collection. Another bold step into largely uncharted territories for Ivan The Tolerable, who knows where he'll go next?
Le Monde Inversé is available to pre-order on 10" vinyl from here.