GoGooo is one of those bands whose album begs an answer to the question “what constitutes music?” Frenchman Gabriel Hernandez is the sole consistent member of the project and he’s a self-declared “non-musician.” He offers up ghosts of melodies via some heavily-treated keyboards, sparse fingerpicking, and melodic chords at different times over the album’s duration, but doesn’t thread anything together that even loosely resembles a song in the traditional sense of the word. More often he provides a soft bed of droning ambiance with a gentle oscillation that flows into some thoroughly unremarkable field recordings of street life, say, shoes skimming concrete on “Lueur” or rain dripping from overflowing eaves on “La.” These field recorded tracks are unadulterated; they’re just sounds of the natural world punctuating Hernandez’s off-the-cuff compositions.
If that description sounds too pretentious or not orderly enough for your tastes, you might want to pass on this one. Music or not, Long, Lointain is an exercise in subtlety that evokes the emotional response of a lazy summer’s daydream and thunderstorm rolled into one. If you’re like me, that’s enough to cement it in rotation for months to come.