Dan Warburton

Métro Pré Saint Gervais

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AllMusic Review by François Couture

This trio follows an approach similar to Afflux (of which Jean-Luc Guionnet and Éric La Casa represent two-thirds): make a piece of a location. While Afflux uses electro-acoustic devices to interact with a specific location, here Guionnet and Dan Warburton play their respective alto sax and violin. Éric La Casa is recording while staying mobile (unless the musicians are the ones moving around; it is hard to tell). Listeners are in a Paris subway station at a slow time of the day (or night?). Subway trains coming and going and the conversations of passersby provide colors to the piece. Violin and saxophone are mostly used to produce fragile drones, especially in the first of these two untitled pieces. For the first three-quarters of the album, the musicians let the subway tell its story, stepping in whenever things get dull. At times it sounds like a game of cat and mouse, the improvisers hiding the second a person walks by. Their more noise-based sounds (sax gurgles, string scratching) become the sounds of creatures crawling from under the bed when no one is watching. At one point in the last 15 minutes, Warburton and Guionnet engage in a more vehement exchange, spicing things up before simmering down to long, quiet notes again and giving the subway a chance to reintegrate this unusual quartet. Recommended to deep listeners.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Dan Warburton 20:47 Amazon
Dan Warburton 43:23 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick