Mirages is one of those albums you’re stumbling upon once in a lifetime. It’s a material that delivers freshness, uniqueness, and entertainment by simultaneously blending various aesthetics with an aim to enhance the listening experience even more. Mirages is the most-advanced recording by Kaouenn, the alter-ego of Nicola Amici, an Italian multi-instrumental artist with residence in Nice, France. Previously, Kaoeunn released series of singles like Les Hiboux (Remix), Reachin’ The Stars (Radio Edit), Immaterial Jungle, and a self-titled album. Nicola is an experienced musician who performs as a guitarist/saxophonist at Butcher Mind Collapse, Lebowski, Jesus Franco & The Drogas, and bassist of Daudane and Tommy Lorente et La Cavalerie. His tremendous experience is also vividly hearable at Mirages, but it seems Nicola is pushing the musical boundaries with Kaouenn even further.
Mirages represents Kaouenn’s second album, heavily decorated by various elements that define particular music genres. Kaouenn solely relies upon cinematic ambiance, rich world music heritage, and echoic post-rock aesthetics. His music resembles a perfect soundtrack, perhaps for historical/documentary/epic/drama/action movies. It captures the essence of brilliant movie soundtracks through the predominant presence of a cinematic atmosphere. Besides cinematic ambiance, world music, ethno, and post-rock, you may hear the elements of krautrock, psychedelic rock, psychedelia, electronica, and experimental. Perhaps this comprehensive collection of various genres seem to be way too much, but Kaouenn combines each ingredient until he reaches perfection.
Kaouenn thoroughly planned every possible articulation and movement throughout the entire album. Detailed rhythmic structures and percussive sequences are providing more than necessary support to the remaining portion of instrumentations. These rhythmic structures burst with characteristic cinematic tension but also go towards a more calmy ambient side. There’s a generous dosage of reverb effect added over the percussions, so you’ll get the feeling like you’re witnessing some ritual or sacral experience. Kaouenn also added some modular and granular synthesis to enhance this listening experience, so an overflowing serving of cinematic ambiance comes directly from the synths. Guitars are contributing to this colorful mix through various ambient sequences, chord progressions, thematics, solos, and other guitar licks. Most of these maneuvers resemble something you would hear at complex post-rock orchestrations, but Kaouenn goes beyond post-rock aesthetics and explores other similar technics as well. The guitars are nicely paired with the remaining orchestrations, so you will solely grasp all the melodies, harmonies, and virtuosities implemented during this delicate album.
It’s nearly mindblowing how Kaouenn articulates during particular moments. You’ll never know this album was recorded by a solo artist, mainly because of the very professional approach to the songwriting, composing, arranging, and producing process. Mirages appears as cinematic soundtrack, recorded by a full orchestra. Nicola Amici encapsulates the fundamentals of epic/ancient/middle-eastern ethno, pairs it with illustrious world music sound, and finally decorates it with contemporary post-rock acrobatics. Kaouenn sounds like nothing you heard before, and this tremendous artist deserves your uttermost attention if you’re into the beforementioned genres. Mirages come on the black vinyl, decorated by beautiful abstract cover artwork. Head over to
Bloody Sound Fucktory, Atypeek Music, Beautiful Losers Records, or purchase it directly at Kaouenn’s Bandcamp page.