Album Review

Beau, Julien – “Reflet” – [Aposiopese]

abacus   8/14/2013   A Library, CD


Sound artist out of France that studied electroacoustic composition in Bordeaux brings us 7 abstract pieces of musique concrete combining electronic and acoustic sources for a chaotic mixture of sonic and textural elements. His main medium here seems to be the computer, mixing with found sounds and turntables, however the incorporation of strings, woodwinds and piano gives this album the feel of a sort of chamber ensemble of the digital age; wavering string tones intertwine with electrical glitch, nautical echoes and general sensory overstimulation. The first Reflet piece starts with a storm cloud deconstruction that breaks into an orchestral drone and eventually gives way to spring morning. On Ecmnesie we find ourselves sitting at a streetside cafe absorbing the myriad activities and sounds around until reverting to an internal existential monologue (in Spanish) set to somber cello/piano duet. Ominous low end crackling wrought with high end pitches incite and intersect with disintegrating serenity, only to be swept up in a warped pendulum vortex. Electrons spinning twisted circles around solitary piano reflections cradled by a gentle rustling breeze. Ethopee is a 10 minute long contemplation of tense pressure release seeping from behind your eyes out your ears. The piece goes almost absent before reinvading your brain with another dense entropy of sonic variety, full of prayer gongs, frantic scratching and squealing and an omnipresent rumble. Challenging though the album is, these are beautiful complex compositions that are solemn and introspective yet audacious and provocative.

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