Review

Brian Lavelle, Vital, 13 juin 2002

Swathed in the closest I have yet seen to a Savage Pencil-esque liquefying demon sleeve — a truly fitting representation in pen and ink of this Canadian duo’s music — morceaux_de_machines’ debut CD is an insanely free journey into the possibilities of live laptop performance. Aimé Dontigny and Érick d’Orion’s improvisations are nothing less than startling in a context where the debate often centres mundanely around the merits or otherwise of watching individuals perform the digital equivalent of tape-based works. There is dripping sweat in this music; there is a refreshing ferocity and brutal dynamism in abundance. It seems even at times that the ghost of Coltrane’s 1966/67 interstellar live work pervades the proceedings. The resulting brew is a primordial mix of cut-ups, lifts, uncategorisable loops, acrid and acidic soundscaping and more, all the components reaching half-life at similar points in the fray. Like the sound of the multitude of layers being stripped internally from the walls of the atom, this is pure jazz fission. The penultimate track on liberum arbitrium is entitled rothko and the choice is apt, even as a generalised pointer to the sonic landscape of this disc: oversized slabs of dense, textural colour juxtaposed in an end-to-end fashion, exaggerated, confrontational, surprising - all essential qualities of a difficult but completely mesmerising sonic soup.

There is dripping sweat in this music; there is a refreshing ferocity and brutal dynamism in abundance. It seems even at times that the ghost of Coltrane pervades the proceedings.

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