Album Review

Papillon – “Papillon” – [Discrepant]

Thurston Hunger   1/31/2014   12-inch, A Library

The cover’s Rorschach butterfly defines more than the French name
of this project, it is emblematic of the album. Old sounds, via
collage and an analog cocoon emerge as new. Like the ink blot test,
the story here takes place in the mind of the listener, although
apparently it is an homage to a 1969 French adventure book as well.
Enhanced field recordings, with Discrepant label head GF Cardoso
delivering the samples, but plenty of secret sauces added. Clicks,
morse code messages, power drone hiding in the shadows of a jungle,
is that a knife being sharpened during “Petit Viande” or just
some circuit bending? Flies swarm later, an appetite for sonic
construction. Did dolphins add in telepathy as well? Humans wander
into the mix as well, both sampled from Chinese villages and
maybe ham radio intercepts, as well as drummer David Naan who
injects an energetic finish to “La Cavale des Chinois” and
Laurent Jeanneau aka Kink Gong contributes frequencies sublime.
Sound sculpture used to be a phrase used a lot, and it can apply
here as well, there’s a tangible 3-D feel to much of the work,
even if the topography is unknown. Are those firecrackers?
Is there a bagpipe around the corner? The foreign here is easy
to embrace, even if at times there is an air of the ominous. Like
any intrepid traveler, if you are willing to lose yourself in the
surroundings, you will find much more.

-Thurston Hunger

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