[Album Review] Monsieur Desastreux's 'one' and 'two' Are Dark Synthpop Deftness

Updated: Aug 15

Cards on the table, I couldn’t find much about this artist in my research for this review. The most I have is that his music is on a German record label called PLANET69 (nice), and that, aside from the EPs I’m about to discuss, he’s had one remix back in 2015. Shame for that fact, as one and two are a lot of fun. Synthpop is one of my favorite genres, and far from a guilty pleasure. Finding a new artist like Monsieur Desastreux this early in his solo career is finding a diamond in the rough, and better yet, we have two of them to examine here.

We kick things off with “No Indication,” which sounds somewhere between 2000s era Nine Inch Nails with a bit of minimalism drizzled in. The main riff is simple, the vocal melody the same, but it’s a fun song. It does a lot while not having to do much, and that’s the beauty of it. “Stranger” is more minimalist still, with vocals that feel like modern Marilyn Manson in tone and vibrato. Beyond the bass line and the four on the floor groove, there isn’t much to report out of the norm, but it’s another solid track.

“Get off!” is a bit more aggressive in its approach, with a prominent wubbing as a three-note bass line drives the song along. The vocals are a little dirtier, not that they’re super clean to begin with, and it helps add a bit of bite to the bark on this one. The first installment closes with “Suspect,” with its ominous build. It’s uneasy listening that demands to be heard. As a closer to the first foursome, it’s going out with an eerie bang.

Our second offering begins with “Hello!” which feels like a marriage of modern synthpop and 80s synthpop, an old school meets new school that ends not in a fight, but in a winning tag team. “Acceleration” is a bit of a misnomer, as it is a chilled-out vibe sort of song, even at its busiest. A two-note guitar line in the chorus adds just a little bit of air to this track, and a brief interlude post-chorus to boot.

“I can do that too!” is upbeat, almost cyberpunk in sound, with a lively bass line and even what sounds like live percussion, as opposed to programming or a drum machine in parts. Where “Acceleration” had guitars all over it, this song could really be seen as a rock song masquerading in synthpop attire. We end on “current mental dysfunction,” an S&M sort of track, with an orchestral call and response. It’s another rock-driven song, and sans guitars at that. It brings this EP, and the twosome collectively, to a crescendo wonderfully.

one and two are both available via Planet 69.


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