Review

Richard Moule, Exclaim!, September 1, 1997

That Québec has always had a strong tradition in electronic and electro-acoustic music is a given; what continues to surprise is the health, depth and scope of the work being created. The Québec label OHM/AVTR seems interested in exploringsound sources and found sounds. At its core, OHM/AVTR seems to be following the esteemed traditions of people like John Cage, Pierre Schaeffer, Brion Gysin, and more recently Robin Rimbaud’s project, and Panasonic, in creating musique concrete and sound collages.

Rappel, is about the art of voyeurism. Produced in collaboration with Radio-Canada’s Chant magnétique. Rappel is a coliection of recordings from a little Bell branch office, and from answering machines. Sound experimenters have dropped in on people’s phone conversations, capturing their innocent exchanges with one another. The effect is at once banal and disturbing, catching these transmissions and monitoring them much the same way someone would from security services. In a world of instant communications and yet unprecedented surveillance, Rappel tackles issues of privacy and appropriation, and the lines that are drawn between the private and public self when you try to reach out and touch someone.

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