Review

Glenn McDonald, The War Against Silence, no 143, 23 octobre 1997

Noise is available in a wide range of noisinesses, from the subliminal ebb of ambient to the cacophonous roar of industrial noise, but one of its stranger manifestations is electroacoustic music, a form that appears, as best I can discern, to be the near-exclusive province of the Québec experimental label empreintes DIGITALes [produced by DIFFUSION i MéDIA]. The simplest generalization for this style, summarized on the first disc of the Sombient compilation A Storm of Drones, is that it is a lot like ambient, only not relaxing. If you imagine that Brian Eno’s Music for Airports is not a single album, but rather a compilation of isolated peaceful moments from other sources, like an abstract instrumental version of those Enya-heavy Pure Moods collections sold on late-night television, then electroacoustic could be the less-peaceful source material that got left out.

Most of Jonty Harrison’s Articles indéfinis sounds like the exasperated monologous rant of an R2D2 the size of a killer whale. Noises come in clusters, sudden and decisive, whipping through the stereo field and the human audio spectrum on impatient errands to somewhere else entirely. If stars were actually living creatures, existing simultaneously on time scales both faster and slower than our own, arguing with each other on topics beyond human comprehension, much less grammar, then this is what Fiorella Terenzi’s would hear in her radio telescopes.

Noises come in clusters, sudden and decisive, whipping through the stereo field and the human audio spectrum…

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