There is something unsettling about the fact that Old Maine Fiction (a duo credited to “Sylvain and Catherine”) manage to be both corporeal and ghostly on their debut Out of Reach. As if reaching for your lover’s hand but they pull away, out of reach, and you are instead left grasping at air.
Old Maine Fiction are of the electronic/ambient genre: they hum and throb and whisper. In the opening minute or so of Out of Reach, a synth line is a source of light and energy but by the middle of the track, the energy fades from a thick synth wash and Sylvain’s deep, whisper-like vocals weigh you down. And that’s how much of the EP plays out: one minute you’re alive and poised to slow dance and the next you are immobile, or out of body, floating above the living.
The title track is the murkiest of the bunch. It’s only when the song is about to end that sharp synth notes poke holes in the shroud of electronics and let you gasp for air. The following track, “Emerald,” on the other hand, is dazzling. A heavy drum beat acts as a steady heartbeat as Sylvain’s voice twists and turns, climbing out of the darkness.
On closer “Dreams,” Sylvain mutters, “…and my dreams are not dreams are not dreams…” Which leaves us wondering, is Out of Reach a dream or is it planted in reality? Maybe it lives in the grey area in-between.
Top Track: “Emerald”
Rating: Young Hoot (Decent)