Sometimes music theory occults its subject more than it clarifies it. Techné's booklet contains a long, academic, tiresome essay by the composer that, as hard as it tries, gives the listener no point of entry to the music. Why Brandon Labelle, who can write illuminating words on sound art, chose to dissertate using such abrasive lingo on the relations between the body and architectural space will remain a mystery. He should have taken to heart the partial definition he gives for the word "techné": "to allow to come into being." Do yourself a favor and listen to the CD prior to looking at the liner notes. You'll find letting the music come into being by itself more rewarding. As usual, Labelle delivers a thought-provoking album of sound art. The relationship between the titles of the pieces and their sound sources alone could fuel another essay. "Chair" sounds like bursts of white noise sculpted around an electrical hum. "Freeway" is a mystery, but at times it sounds like a turntable without a record on (some textures get very close to Martin Tétreault's work in that field). "Foot" and "Conduit" seem propelled by a will to occupy the listening space. Mysterious clangs in the first and glitches in the second ricochet on the walls, trapping the listener in their web. Qualifying Labelle's work as good or bad makes no sense. To say that Techné is stimulating, like its predecessors, should be enough appreciation.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture