I guess it should come as no surprise that in the past couple months alone, I’ve heard of several different releases from electronic musicians being inspired by the sound of children in the womb and childbirth. Electronic music is the perfect genre for conveying the feeling of floating in amniotic fluid, and both Pan American (on For Waiting For Chasing) and Loscil (the song “Charlie” on his recent Plume release) have both been influenced by that particular stage of human development to create music about it. Add Marc Leclair (aka Akufen) to that list, as his newest solo effort Musique Pour 3 Femmes Enceintes, is inspired by the same thing.
Written as one long composition that’s broken down into nine separate sections, the album ebbs and flows like one might expect given the influence. Leclair takes a much less frenetic route than under his Akufen pseudonym and lets the long songs (that average about eight minutes apiece) really stretch out and unfold slowly. “1er Jour” opens the disc with washing layers of hushed synths while high-pitched tones blip and clicky beats pitter patter around.
From there, the album changes up ever so slightly with each track, as “32e Jour” again mingles glitchy beats with layers of warm pads before he backs off the beats completely for awhile, leaving the listener floating through soft expanses of billowing synths, only dropping in some random field recordings on occasion to break things up slightly. During his best moments (like on the almost Steve Reich-ish phased guitars of “150e Jour”), Leclair creates some wonderous moments of subtle beauty, but at other times (the gurgling, aimless “85e Jour”), the long album definitely feels its length. Outstanding at times, and simply “there” at others, Musique Pour 3 Femmes Enceintes is an interesting sidestep from Leclair, but not quite essential.