actuellecd

Review

Tobias C van Veen, Incursion Music Review, no 049, 31 mars 2002

Beginning with crackled sound, almost abrasive and entirely disruptive, Labrosse and Tétreault shake the listener into thinking that one is listening to a new work by the electroacoustic duo Interface. But things take an entirely different turn within seconds, and interspersing the sound-cackle-crackles with silence leads the listener to humming and resonating melancholic spaces that can only be properly described as underwater caverns. In these caverns are Cave People; and they are composing music. It is a peaceful time, and by the time track 5, sponger, rolls around — these are very short tracks, all about two minutes or so in length, except for track 11, a coal eye, which is 10 minutes — I am fully immersed in the sketches of sound which paint a visual aura to the impressively wide range of experimentation found from track to track. For example, track 6, insomnia of a bed-bug, disrupts underwater-land and introduces radio static-hum which, in a playful mood, dances with the clicks of a clock. That the elements are cavorting with each other should come as no surprise, for like Interface, Tétreault and Labrosse are a live improv duo; but unlike Interface, they manage to maintain my interest by moving through different phases of sound as well as conceptual environments, easily handling slight noise and static, tones, hums, and clicks. Labrosse, according to the liner notes, works solely with “abstract elements.” I am not sure what the entails in terms of gear, the hazy blue picture of the duo leaves the details indiscernible. Tétreault works directly with turntables: no records, just manipulating the sounds to be found in the decks themselves. Given this palette, both Tétreault and Labrosse manage to construct a dramatic and engaging topology of sound which, for the most part, is in the experimental ambient genre, and in moves of inspired stage magic, know exactly when to end a sound that has lost its ability to engage the listener. A succinct and playful album of experimental madness which, despite — and perhaps because of — its overwhelming undertones of intelligence, does not force the listener into obscurity.

A succinct and playful album of experimental madness which… does not force the listener into obscurity.