Music Reviews

cover
Artist: Berangere Maximin (@)
Title: No one is an Island
Format: CD
Label: Sub Rosa (@)
Rated: *****
One of the most interesting aspect of this collaborative release by Berangere Maximin, a talented beatnik coming from the acousmatic scene and the electroacoustic classroom of Denis Dufour at the Perpignan Conservatoire, born in Reunion (an heavenly French overseas dominion in the Indian Ocean, surrounded by sharks and luxury hotels), an isle from which she moved when she was just fifteen - a biographical note, which looks like certified by the title of this release! -, lies in the prismatic plating of the sounds she intertwines with melodic rashes on instruments by four renowned musicians. It seems she coats some noisy tunnels with random objects and electronic expectorations, which have been holed by lovely strains, as if each song tells some tales about the steadfast struggle between inner universe and casual extrusions from outer world, so that for instance it seems that Frederic D.Oberland's sweet phrasing on guitar gets unnerved by chirping electronic hums and sizzles and its first neatness rots away towards more lopsided tonal declensions in the initial track "How Warm Is Our Love" as well as in "Bicephale Ballade", the second collaborative track with Christian Fennesz. After the tonal drying up of the pretty cameo "Un Jour, Mes Restes Au Soleil", this release, included in the Sub Rosa's series Framework, intended to spread some unusual conceptions of sound material mainly composed by young unknown sound artists, offers good food for hungry ears: my favorite ones are the first collaborative track with Christian Fennesz, "Knitting In The Air" - a lovely tune starting with the noise of some knitting needles and bird chirps, ascending over an entrancing effected guitar arpeggio, so that you can imagine those needles sharp clouds as if they were balls of thread whereas Berangere comments on textures coming from their unwinding with adjectives like "gorgeous", "marvellous", "fantastic", "terrific" by accentuating the last consonant sound of each word -, the giddy sonic monument she assembles with Richard Pinhas in "Carnaval Cannibale" and the entrancing and maddened setting of "Where the Skin meets the Bone" featuring the great trumpet-player Rhys Chatham, who seems to have combined his first approach on the instrument based on distortion with the more mystical and laid back one of his recent issues.



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