In Aeternam Vale

In Aeternam Vale

In Aeternam Vale



  • 1.
    Pray For Me
  • 2.
  • 3.
    Les Murs Berlin Wall
  • 4.
    The Next Step
  • 5.
    Je Ne Sais Rien
  • 6.
    Peur Aveugle
  • 7.
    Avoir L'Air De Dire Ah
  • 8.
    Give Me Your Money George
  • 9.
    She's Hard Time To Breathe
  • MW021

Minimal Wave presents a full length album by cult French band In Aeternam Vale. Having made over 200 recordings, I.A.V. were one of the most prolific bands of the French underground scene. Headed by Laurent Prot, the band released many cassettes all featuring his wonderful collage work. Their sound is extremely original, overflowing with character, and crossing between genres: electro, minimal, noise, and even garage. “With the passing of time, In Aeternam Vale’s work remains astonishingly powerful, cold and caustic with its uncompromising minimalism, but also provocative and capable to smash your ass on the dance-floor”(-Douche Froide Magazine, 2002). The record is pressed on 180 gram clear vinyl and comes in a heavyweight matte jacket with cover artwork by Laurent Prot.

A Minimal Wave release, pressed on 180 gram clear vinyl. Selections from over 150 cassette recordings made between 1982-1989. Artwork by Laurent Prot.

* Denotes bonus track(s) available only on a CD / Digital version of this release, if a CD / Digital version of this release is available


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    Minimal Wave is celebrating their fourth anniversary and with that comes four new releases, including this LP from In Aeternam Vale, a French synthwave project featuring a rotating cast of one or two guys known for their crazy 200-something-long discography. Even more impressive than their resume, however, is this kick-ass album itself. Like a lot of musical love affairs, I first felt repulsion, but before too long had given in to its many decadent charms.

    While many of the reviews have been talking about the album cover’s “genius collage work”—something I’d describe as artwork heavily resembling Carcass meets Nurse with Wound in a ‘70s science fair/Museum of Skin Afflictions—it did not make me anxious to pull the record out of its sleeve. I could only imagine that the LP would sound like a bummed-out, lonely teenager with a synth and a handful of b-movie samples randomly thrown in. But oh how wrong I was. In Aeternam Vale’s throbby, synthwave art-rock comes off like a cross between 39 Clocks and Thierry Mueller, and I mean that as a heavy compliment. All the caustic, lazy, lowbrow/highbrow genius is there and even though the music is still raw, ramshackle and DIY-sounding, it’s produced and mastered like a MOTHERF***R! And for all the buzz-qualities that make this “my kinda” album, it still manages to sound SPECIAL. That should be enough info for anyone that knows me, but I’ll throw ya some details.

    The opener is a perfect mix of buggy, fruggy, smart/dumb art-pop, with spoken/sung vocals blubbered out like a mush-mouthed, junk-sick Mark E Smith and dirty like a pedophiliac. I’m tempted to make the ridiculous claim that the album could end there but won’t bother, as it goes on to fulfill the immediate hope, inspired by the first song, that there are plenty more good tracks to match. I love In Aeternam Vale’s cover of “Money (That’s What I Want);” it not only outdoes the Flying Lizards’ version, it also makes you forget how dead tired you were of the song. There is one sample-y, collage-soundtrack cut that slightly resembles what I assumed this album would sound like, but it becomes a welcome addition to the song selection in light of the other more “standard” gems. And then you reach a venomous, funky art-pop track featuring a lead vocal that has the crazy flow of Rakim and Serge Gainsbourg’s lovechild.

    If you haven’t noticed, this one’s a bit different for Minimal Wave, but nonetheless, it abso-f**in-rules. Certainly one of my new faves, I’ll give it 4 out of 4 stars. It’s a wrap. Don’t sleep on this record, as it WILL disappear, and it’s already hard enough to see: clear vinyl. We’ll be reviewing the three other new Minimal Wave releases in the coming week. [SM]

    Scott Mou - - January 20, 2010