Naturaliste has become a cult group in record time in a very small underground community: the American lo-fi-based, D.I.Y.-advocate experimental music circle of the late '90s. Au Revoir Naturaliste is the group's swan song (well, swan noise improvs) -- at least it was for a while, as the unit eventually re-formed for selected performances. Released as a D.I.Y. cassette by Foreign Lands (one of a handful of underground tape labels based in Naturaliste's hometown of Omaha, NE), sporting an all-black cover, the album puts together live excerpts from the group's spring 2002 farewell tour of the East Coast. At this point it consisted of Chris Fisher (saxophone), Charles Lareau (tapes, keyboards), and Lonnie Methe (violin, vocals). "Murfreesboro" kicks off with a horrible radio interview (genuine or fake?), followed by one of Naturaliste's most minimal improvisations of its career, with Fisher and Methe holding long notes and playing in the microtonal range. "Charleston" comes back to a more chaotic noise performance. In "Ohama," crowd chatter (once again, a real-time live thing or one of Lareau's pre-recorded tapes?) obscures the music as Lareau's piano noodling becomes more insistent, ending in relentless chord pounding. The last pieces get very noisy in pure Naturaliste madness, and "Athens" ends with one of the guys thanking the audience before adding, "We'll play to empty rooms for the rest of the week." Intentionally unlistenable and crudely edited, this document will appeal only to those who find solace in masochism.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture