Various Artists

Floating Foundation, Vol. 1

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The aim of the Floating Foundation series is to "create sound objects" with musicians "who are, in most cases, plastic artists too" (from Sub Rosa director Guy Marc Hinant's presentation) -- in other words, to walk the thinning line between music and plastic arts. The sound sculptors contributing to this first installment all decided to take its title (inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright's sense of architecture) literally. Each piece is a journey through either air or water -- not that the artists declare to specifically use sounds derived from these sources, but their music feels airborne, free-floating, gentle, and following its own, sometimes capricious path. Janek Schaefer's "Lithospheric Shifts" opens the CD, but it represents its weaker point. It doesn't take off, offering a limited and uninvolved scope of sounds. Robert Hampson's (aka Main) "Hysteresis" is already more interesting and takes the shape of a British-school electro-acoustic work. Christophe Charles and Stephen Vitiello's contributions make for the best moments, the former vaguely ambient, the latter presenting the most minimalist but sharply focused work, derived in part from his recordings of the World Trade Center (something that cannot help but take an unplanned extra dimension after the events of September 11, 2001). This is where the sense of plasticity, of "sound sculpting," can be felt the strongest. Kurt Ralske's "Au.Taste" provides a suitably calm ending.

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