Sunday, February 1, 2009

Michael Gendreau - "Voutes" CDR

Being a fan of (and corresponding with, briefly) venerable experimental music/cassette-culture staples Crawling With Tarts back in the early 90's, I was delighted to receive this new work by CWT's Michael Gendreau. First, the unique and individually hand-made packaging (hand-painted digipack, rubber stamped) was instantly appealing to my tactile senses. And the music/sound within? It's two extended pieces - both based on field recordings made at Les Voutes in Paris, France in 2004.
The first variation, 'Voutes', is a raw vibration recording of the arch-shaped vaults under the rue Tolbiac in Paris. It's a lonely sort of sound, sort of hollow and spacious, like little spinning ceramic wheels rolling around in a back room, with the discernible rumble of vehicles overhead. Curious and slightly mysterious in it's abstraction, this piece is somehow relaxing, rather than unsettling or nervous.
The second piece is a live manipulation of the previous recording, with added live feeds and mixing. This one is somehow larger, deeper, and more cavernous. It's a heavier and more sonorous invocation of the same spirit. Exceptional, individual, and provocative soundwork that conveys, if nothing else, that there are worlds within the worlds around us. (Cohort Records)

Michael Gendreau website

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