Album Review

Hampson, Robert – “Signaux” – [Editions Mego]

Roland Blunt   3/26/2014   12-inch, A Library


2012 Editions Mego Records release featuring two sidelong aural explorations generated from Analogue Electronics Systems Recordings by Robert Hampson (Loop, Main, Godflesh). After relocating to Paris from his native London, he fell into the influence of the Groupe de Recherches Musicales (GRM), which was originally formed in 1958 by musique concrete pioneer Pierre Schaeffer. There he followed the paths of such revolutionaries as Pierre Henry, Luc Ferrari, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Bernard Parmegiani, and, especially, Francois Bayle. It was Bayle’s concept of “acousmatics” (“anything can be musical, that absolutely anything can have a musical tonality about it, and about how sound can be abstracted and changed”) that inspired his recent focus on processed electronic music compositions performed through multi-channel live sound diffusion installations.

Signaux 1 (17:56) is a 2 channel mix of an 8 channel diffusion commissioned by Planetarium ECM Mendes Poitiers, France. A neoteric approach to classic electronic music…tones, bleeps, blips, skips, chirps, buzzes, hums, gurgles, squeaks, squiggles….as if a vast web of machine intelligence is gradually awakening, and stimulating an electronic forest of insects and primordial creatures.

Signaux 2 (18:02) is a new studio composition that shares some aesthetic similarities to Signaux 1, yet generates more of a vigorous droning noise floor amongst the itinerant hiss, sweep, crackle and glurp of the disparate sonic artifacts.


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