Magali Babin is a performance artist/live sonic experimentalist whose focus is the sound that can be drawn from subtle and not-so-subtle interactions between metallic objects. The album’s title, which in English translates to “Rail Road,” literally means “road of iron.” That translation is apt.
Babin wants her listeners to imagine the objects she is manipulating, and therefore emphasizes their differences. Triturations is grounded in the scraping sound rasped by what sounds like two rough steel blocks, while Petit jardin is tiny metallic beads undercut with an occasional deep, bell-like resonance. La corde uses what sounds suspiciously like the pickup of an electric guitar to scrape some interesting patterns; L’entonnoir engages a ride cymbal to back up the strange, roiling hum in the foreground.
Granted, this music is not for everyone, and even for those willing to go along with Babin’s program, there are moments of needless repetition . Babin is, of course, an artist who will inevitably remain on the fringe, but the iron road that leads to that fringe can definitely be rewarding.