Review

Aquarius Records, 5 août 2011

Hot shit musique concrète found here! There are so many stuffy compositions and constructions that look back to the salad days of tape experimentation in the ’50s and ’60s. Works can get so conceptual with each sound being meant to allude to some particular phrases of Beckett or recapitulate the Merz of Schwitters that the interplay between this found sound and that electronic blorp is totally lost amidst a dull and boring concoction that serves little more than an execution of a grant application. This is certainly not the case for Canadian composer Nicolas Bernier, whose dexterous yet ominous concrete album has landed in the good hands of Hronir, a label which has a small catalogue of brutal collage artists (e.g. Sudden Infant, Raionbashi, GX-Jupitter Larssen) to accompany more oblique voices from the academic world. While Bernier’s work isn’t nearly as toxic as those jackbooted noiseniks, his compositions are wholly discomforting, and we mean that in the best possible light. Within the avant-garde pantheon, Bernier’s work follows that of Michel Chion and Luc Ferrari doing their finest work, through dynamic juxtapositions blurting concrete sounds (bellowing car horns, steam engine growls, leaden explosions, etc) against unsettled atmospheres and spackled dronings that start and stop with a series of repeating punctuations not unlike the strategy that Nurse With Wound mastered on Homotopy To Marie. He’s aware of the cinematic urge for acousmatic works, and pushes Les chambres de l’atelier towards a Lynchian noir with a soft-focus melody warbling in the background to a series of crunched abrasions and eerie footsteps, ruptured by ghostly noises. Excellent, through and through! Limited to 300 copies as well.

Hot shit musique concrète found here!

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