Music Reviews

Artist: Christian Zanési
Title: Grand Bruit / Stop! l’horizon
Format: LP
Label: Editions Mego
The Edition Mego mission to re-issue old experimental electronic works from Groupe de Recherches Musicales continues with the release of two slightly disparate 20-minute-ish works from Christian Zanési.

1991’s “Grand Bruit” is a luscious and bubbly work of electronic pulses, synthetic bell sounds, tweaks and enhancements that reminds me of parts of Jimmy Cauty’s “Space” work. It exhibits tones that reflect the growth of ambient at the time and seem to parallel the proper trance music of the early 90’s but taken into a more abstract and alien space. Fans of downtempo 90’s electronica should certainly check out this little piece of history.

The second piece “Stop ! l’horizon” is from 1983, and manages to sound both further ahead of its time, yet less distinctive, at the same time. The slowly rising and falling clicks and rubs and the crunchy single-hit percussive sounds seem to emulate glitchy electronica despite predating it by a decade or more. There’s less going on, and more use of low level reverberence and decay, giving a sparse and melancholic feel. It also feels quite sci-fi, perhaps through the modern associations now established with some of the doppler rotor sounds being used.

These are amazing works for their time, bold and amazingly polished. If they had had more accessible structures perhaps Zanési’s reputation in the timeline of electronic music would be more well known, as on the evidence of this, it deserves to be.

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