Montreal’s Catherine Debard, or YlangYlang is a ceaselessly prolific experimental artist with releases across international underground labels. Though her meditative synths and softly lilting spoken word delivery are often rooted in the tender realms of New Age, Debard never settles on one approach for long. Contrasting the electroacoustic glitch-pop of 2020’s excellent Interplay, her latest EP Cycles & Decay is an impressionistic ambient wash.
The song “Cedar St.” named after the location where Debard grew up, drifts far beyond the average album-opening instrumental.
The 12-minute song shifts between grainy feedback and gentle piano as warbling whirs unspool into a state of decay. These sounds are matched with a video piece by Charline Dally, where faded VHS colors and spectral shapes flow through rivers of static to create a form of abstracted nostalgia.
“This song started in 2019 with a cassette loop I had recorded and played in various distortion pedals,” Debard said. “It was deconstructed and reconstructed many times until this January, when I ended up finding a more cohesive structure. I have been thinking a lot about time, cycles, growing up, aging, and the numerous transformations we experience. I wanted to try and make one of those cycles sonically.”