Fred Bigot Mono/Stereo

[Holy Mountain; 2009]

Styles: electronic, experimental, sound design
Others: T. Raumschmiere, Mika Vainio, Pan Sonic

Released in the last throes of 2009 by Holy Mountain, Mono/Stereo documents the lesser-known works of one Fred Bigot (pronounced “bee-go”). But if these are his lesser-known works, then you might be wondering: which works is he known for? Bigot has been operating under the moniker Electronicat since the late 90s and has released six full-lengths and a spate of remixes and 12-inches. Still not familiar? Well, then, we might be honing in on the purpose of this release. The majority of these tracks were released on 12-inch between 1999 and 2001. Bigot has traditionally oscillated between Paris and Berlin, which around the time of these recordings was breeding the bulldozer beatpunk of T. Raumschmiere, the low/high culture (electro)clash of Chicks On Speed, and the detached electro of The Hacker. Elements of these artists are present in Bigot’s music, and, once situated in this context, this release starts to make more sense as a historical document.

Aside from being an accomplished DJ and producer, Bigot has involved himself in soundtracking theater, film, and contemporary dance as well as creating his own “sound installations.” It is this penchant for investigating more high-minded concepts that underscores Mono/Stereo. Many of the tracks here appear as rugged chrome skeletons, stripped of all ornamentation and refined to their essence. “Mono” and “Stereo” take the concepts of monophonic and stereophonic sound to their natural conclusions: “Mono” throbs mercilessly through one channel, while “Stereo” pings around, almost mocking a monaural world with its nimble panning.

“Binary” and “Tertiary” explore similar themes of contrast, but these tracks exhibit a little of the psychedelic flair and rock ’n’ roll stomp for which Bigot’s Electronicat project is known. Other tracks on display here show Bigot in a less forceful mode. “Extinction” and “Outside” are two such numbers. Here, the European robotic party feel takes a backseat to post-apocalyptic landscapes with chirping mechanical crickets and menacing bass thunder like approaching hunter-killer droids.

Still, it’s difficult to paint this release as anything other than what it is: a questionable documentation of an artist who, while prolific, has never garnered much attention. It’s hard to say anything unequivocally positive about Mono/Stereo. These songs are unflinchingly serious, acting more as a sound exhibition than anything with a drop of endearment intended for the listener. However, let’s not forget that this material was crafted in Bigot’s early days. Just because this release falls a bit flat, it should be heard as a starting point for an artist who has since created more engaging music.

Links: Fred Bigot - Holy Mountain

Most Read