Review

Frans De Waard, Vital, no. 830, May 7, 2012

Why Empreintes Digitales sometimes releases CDs and sometimes DVDs I am not sure of. The DVDs are not related to films, but contain 24-bit audio (as opposed to 16-bit on a normal CD) and surround versions. Maybe there are no surround sound versions available of the works they put on CD?

Here are two DVDs releases, and Nicolas Bernier seems a bit of an odd ball in the more academic serious world of Empreintes Digitales. His background is more in the microsound, ambient, glitch music and has had releases on Cronica, Ahornfelder, Leerraum and Home Normal. He uses the sounds of typewriters, field recordings, tuning forks, old machines and sometimes even real instruments. Yet on Travaux mécaniques his music sounds remarkable alike his peers on this label, save perhaps for the opening Antithèse électronique, which is an odd one minute laptop punk song. In the four other pieces sounds stumble about, with incidents happening all over the place. Writing Machine is an ode to William S Burroughs, cutting up a spoken word performance, along with the heavily processed sounds thereof and the sounds of a typewriter. Quite vibrant music, swiftly moving about with a great sense of drama. Not fully absorbed by the world of serious academic electronic music, this is quite an enjoyable work by someone who hasn’t fully understood — quite rightly as it turns out — the exact rules of composing, but follows his own path and makes his own great music.

Adrian Moore has a more serious background, with various studies and degrees in the UK and France and is a teacher. He operates more within the strict rules of composing this kind of acousmatic music, and even crosses the line towards classical music with his Fields of Darkness and Light for violin and electronics. […] In the other pieces he may use instruments too, but they are less recognizable (such as in 3Pieces [with] piano, horn and violin). Sounds tumble about, with glissandi working on and off and the whole thing has quite learned character. […]

Sounds tumble about…

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