electrocd

Review

Alan Freeman, Audion, no. 16, October 1, 1990

The world of contemporary avant-garde and serious electronic music is a vast one, with myriads of academics and private individuals exploring musical techniques and modes of composition. Of course, with such a wealth and diversity of new-music being created, often on private labels and in unlikely places, it is impossible to keep on top of it all, let alone sort out the wheat from the chaff. One just has to rely on chance, as with this new Canadian label who contacted Audion on the off-chance that we would be interested.

Amazingly the first three releases, on this CD-only label, are all most innovative and fascinating…

Calon is an expert in electroacoustic music, a Frenchman and close associate of both the GRM and Groupe de musique expérimentale de Marseille (GMEM), he recently moved to Canada to help promote such music there. Calon’s style is firmly in the evolutive soundscape mode as developed by the likes of François Bayle, Luc Ferrari, et al, taking environmental sounds, created and manipulated effects, and creating a dynamic sound panorama of awe-inspiring complexity.

The three lengthy works here are all quite different: Portrait d’un visiteur, a mysterious and unnerving melange of sounds, some recognizable, many manipulated beyond recognition. An enigmatic visionary music. La disparition features a lot of orchestral sounds (including Beethoven’s Grosse Fugue 133), fragments of ethnic and medieval musics, a great range of atmospheric and instrumental elements, all to create a massive floating musical fabric. Minuit, a 40-minute suite, is the most unique work here, a musically descriptive nightmare, combining abstract instrumental and electronic sources together with narrative texts and voices. So unusual and mystifying, Minuit often goes beyond the realms of what one could call “serious” avant-garde, onto the totally bizarre. Particularly a section of hysterical laughter which reminds one of Nurse With Wound! A most intriguing and innovative album.

… a dynamic sound panorama of awe-inspiring complexity.