Review

André Mayer, Musicworks, no 71, 1 juin 1998

Articles indéfinis is not as varied a collection as Contes de la memoire, but it still amply displays Harrison’s importance. The disc begins with Pair / Impair, recorded in 1978, a manic depressive composition in which Harrison sought to reconcile dynamics and stasis. The electronic and acoustic tones on Pair / Impair still seem otherwordly over twenty years later.

The centrepiece of Articles indéfinis is … et ainsi de suite… (1992), an eleven-part suite of musique concrète. Harrison utilized wine glasses as his raw texture, then time-stretched and digitally manipulated the sounds to create a mesmerizing sonic canvas. The final piece, Hot Air (1995), is notable because it is a study of air — children’s balloons were merely a starting point for a complex exploration of the dynamics of breath and the energy needed to achieve it. The result essentially offers a wordless philosophical discussion on the concepts of air and heat.

Appleton and Harrison’s work can be truly held up as visionary; their influence can be heard in modern electronic bands such as Germany’s Mouse on Mars and Britain’s Autechre, which have taken raw, sometimes unpalatable sound experiments and forged engaging and more commercially viable equivalents.

Appleton and Harrison’s work can be truly held up as visionary

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