Afflux

Bouquetot, Autoroute A13/Paris, Gare de Lyon/Port-Jerome, Raffinerie

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Afflux (Influx) is a three-man outfit of Eric Cordier(processing and contact microphones), Jean-Luc Guionnet(long string recording devices), and Eric La Casa (microphones, processing, and mixing), whose music is produced, recorded, and mixed "at a precise time, with material from a precise site." Processing and mixing are done on-site in a van that serves as a mobile recording studio. "Bouquetot" was recorded on a particularly rainy afternoon near the entrance of a tunnel under the A13 highway in Normandy; amplified steel strings were stretched between the corrugated iron tunnel and the roof of the van. For "Paris, Gare de Lyon," the team set up two recording positions 100 meters apart on a platform at one of Paris' busiest railway stations, while a third member, armed with a high-frequency microphone, mingled with the crowds. Port-Jerome is a huge oil refinery on the estuary of the river Seine, round which the group drove, recording all the while from battery-powered equipment. Throughout the album, while it is often possible to recognize expected sounds (cars passing by on the highway, trains entering the station, steam hissing, and petroleum thickly bubbling), the sheer diversity and richness of the sound material captured at these three sites is extraordinary, recalling the music of Xenakis on more than one occasion. The simple sound of rain falling, which for many may seem banal beyond belief, is transformed and projected into multiple acoustic spaces by the recording process. Aficionados of sound art and contemporary electronic music alike will not fail to appreciate the strength and subtlety of such fine work.

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