Dominique Répécaud

Ana Ban

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Despite almost two decades of musical activity behind him, Dominique Répécaud had yet to release a solo album. If Ana Ban came out under his name, it actually consists of 15 duets -- well, kind of. Répécaud asked 15 friends and collaborators to give him a solo piece. He arranged the solos in an interesting sequence and then overdubbed a track of improvised electric guitar. In a second pass, he added improvisations on two tabletop guitars played simultaneously. In the end, the contributions have become a 60-minute tape part serving as a canvas for Répécaud's playing. An interesting idea by itself, raising questions on "virtual" duetting and free improvisation with oneself, Ana Ban becomes fascinating when one realizes that the cast of featured musicians summarizes the guitarist's career. There are members of Soixante Étages (Jacques Debout, Daniel Koskowitz), Étage 34 (Olivier Paquotte), Le Complexe de la Viande (Laurent Dailleau), all groups in which he plays. There are also artists he championed through his festival Musique Action: Kristoff K.Roll, Daunik Lazro, Xavier Charles, Lê Quan Ninh. These highly different individuals steer the wheel in different directions. Répécaud veers accordingly, here laying down subtle textures, there adding crunchy riffs and mad soloing. This is a stunning album, both conceptually and performance-wise. Highly recommended, especially to fans of Thurston Moore, Jean-Marc Montera, and Keith Rowe.

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