La boutique des nouvelles musiques

Review

Justin Steward, Splendid E-Zine, 7 mai 2004

This Canadian-born violinist has been playing since age four, but his work is more about avant-garde abstractions and sonic playfulness than a showy display of his formidable musicianship. He started exploring classical and folk music’s subtler, more experimental sides at around age ten, and has since clocked time with both the street group The Fanfare Pourpour and the challenging prog-fusion band Rouge Ciel. Except for some clutch bass clarinet work (Gaviscon) and eerie background vocals (Un Champs L’été and Migration) from two guests, Carré de Sable is all Del Fabbro. The title means “sandbox” in English, and its goal was to soundtrack the creation of "personal ecosystems", and to have fun with simple tools. Few instruments were off-limits to Del Fabbro; he plays everything from banjo, flute, effects module, and turntable to a coffeepot, a music stand and a telephone. For most of the album, unfortunately, the songs add up to less than the sum of their parts;Del Fabbro’s ambient pieces are largely aimless, lacking a distinct atmosphere, and they’re over-reliant on reverb and delay. Del Fabbro is at his best when combining his better, shriller sound beds with his gorgeous violin playing, which he overlaps on Essaim. His tossed-off kitchen sink improvisations lack guiding orchestration and quality control, and as a result, listening becomes a chore.

Del Fabbro is at his best when combining his better, shriller sound beds with his gorgeous violin playing…

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