Album Review

Mouchoir Etanche – “Une Fille Petrifiee” – [Cellule 75]

Thurston Hunger   4/6/2022   12-inch, A Library

On first overall listen organs in elegy resonated most; after reading some online notes those sounds felt tied to the loss of livelihood in general during the pandemic and in painful particular to the artist’s Mother dying. Marc Richter is Mouchoir Etanche, he is also familiar to KFJCers as Black to Comm and for running the stellar Dekorder label. The album announces itself with “Enter Mirror Hotel” and the obviousness of samples are present, tight loops of arias and orchestral mini-flourishes, human and yet not. As the album progresses there is more blur between sample and source sounds, like life during the pandemic one wonders what is real/unreal. On A4, is that a siren or a bagpipe strafing a stately locked organ slice. In looking at at titles like “Le Temps Isolee” and “Menschen Im Null-Raum” hard to not hear this as a quaranteen-aged release in any language. Still plenty of grace and even a sliver of hope on “Secheresse” (drought) which recalls jubilant and children frolicking in your speakers. The first two tracks do floor me, but I wonder if the title track was also considered as an opener, starburst organ grandeur. I may be wrongly accenting the Nurse with Wound tending your Covid bedside here; listening now to Black to Comm’s “Alphabet 1968” there were solemn organ drones and disembodied voices even there, so it might be a part of a more pervasive nostalgia for Richter (et moi).

FWIW the project name translates as “waterproof handkerchief” so maybe there is an element of immunity to sorrow built-in. Independent of the name and the times, a very deft and beautiful weaving/mix/making of sounds.
-Thurston Hunger

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