Music Reviews

Artist: Radiomentale / Eric Pajot (@)
Title: I-Land
Format: CD
Label: F4T Music (@)
Rated: *****
Even if this French duo, made up of Jean-Yves Leloup (one of the most careful follower of the electronic music scene in his country as a journalist with two books, "Global Techno" and "Digital Magma", to his credit) and Eric Pajot (active visual artist, musician and dj), began to emit electronic radiations since 1992 mainly by means of radio broadcasts (they broadcasted a very notorious program on French Radio FG, the very first indipendent electronic music station in France, rerun on Swiss station Couleur 3 and Japanese Shibuya FM) for ten years and audiovisual installations as well as within the first rave parties in paris, where they organized many chill-out zones, this release on F4T Music can be considered their real debut album. RadioMentale cannot avoid a statement of belief and a declaration of love for the crossbreed between their art and cinema on I-Land for obvious reasons related to the constant focus on these complementary arts: they've been considered as pioneers of the so-called "cinemax", a very popular performative art in France and they've already rebuilt the soundtracks of many notorious cult movies such as Antonioni's "Blow Up", Cronenberg's "Videodrome" and De Palma's "Dressed To Kill". Moreover they've borrowed their sound forging experience to a numer of movie directors and the first of the three long tracks of "I-Land" just refers to their soundtrack for the dystopian (but not so different from the one we live in) world, portrayed by Jean-Baptiste Leonetti on his sci-fi full length movie "Carre' Blanc", whereas the somewhat maniacal, impersonal and highly regimented social organization, based on a series of rewards for people which supported the "system", lies on a set of scores of electronic manipulations and natural soundscapes for public areas and collective spaces in order to influence and erase people's conscience and thought: "Smooth Operator" sounds like the sonic translation of an hidden character of "Carre' Blanc"'s script in order to let the listener embody the chore of an operator on his/her workplace, which decides tunes according to a preprogrammed set of rules, changes tapes and meddles with strange machines in order to manipulate minds. This interesting concept has been followed by the highest hypnotical peak of the album, "Sinking", a recent live recording they performed on the occasion of a radiographic event dedicated to sound art: the subtle and obscure harmonics gradually slip into listener's mind by boosting the entrancing powers of the hollow voice of a sort of hypnotist, whose instructions and countdowns could persuade you in lapsing into a state of soft trance and slacken your mental activity. Radiomentale's psycho approach which looks like an hybrid between some sonic stuff by Pole and Laurent Perrier has been embellished by the this and final track by one half of the duo, Eric Pajot, who assembled an ensemble of vocal samples and glacial field recordings during a trip on Gotland Swedish island on the occasion of the shooting of Gregory Abou's "Are You There", where he seems to build a sort of sonic postcard of the snowy and desert landscapes of that place while surfing on the imaginative mindset of two legendary filmmakers, Andrei Tarkovski and Ingmar Bergman, whose artistic production and life were deeply rooted into that kind of scenery.

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