Released on the French label Fibrr, this CD by Digital Live Radio Session features a lineup very similar to the company's previous release by Formanex: Christophe Havard, Emmanuel Leduc, and Julien Ottavi, with John Morin rounding up the quartet. On Live at Extrapool Formanex performed pages from Cornelius Cardew's "Treatise." Here DLRS dives into a 47-minute free electronic improvisation broadcasted live on a radio show. The two albums turn out to be quite similar, with the difference being that this one is better recorded and more engaging. The radio occupies center stage: the prime medium to distribute the music, it also becomes the principal purveyor of sonic material. Leduc and Havard plunder the airwaves, bringing back snippets of talk radio comments and excerpts from highly recognizable French hits (hearing Francis Cabrel in such a context is quite destabilizing). Ottavi's laptop electronics, Morin's turntables and samplers (he especially likes slowed-down voices), and Leduc's crude feedback create a dizzying shroud of noises, at times intricate and fascinating, at others just plain nauseating. Havard adds some "engines" running in the background and produces strange textures reminiscent of some of the artifacts the quartet Silent Block uses. The piece remains pretty static on a macroscopic level. It has its moments, best when the radio is not involved, at least not too distinctly. People interested in the music of Poire_Z, Ossatura, and Keith Rowe's table-guitar-and-radio combinations will find this an interesting but not essential recording.
Share this page