quintetAvant En Concert à la Salle des Fêtes

[Editions Mego; 2006]

Rating: 2.5/5

Styles: electroacoustic, free improvisation
Others: Lappetites, Ikue Mori, Fenn O’Berg

This is electroacoustic music that's way more electro than acoustic. quintetAvant don't dally about questioning the distinction between organic and inorganic sound; this 2002 concert recording is a full-on blitz of frazzled, clipped, and otherwise shot-to-hell tape loops and analogue synth emissions. Sounds have striking shapes and colors, but their dimensions are altered to the point that one can only conjecture feebly as to how they were produced. These fragmented, cubist forms clash with one another, too: there's no rhythm or harmony to the way tones collide and override one another. Rocky as the listening experience may be, the quintet do work toward drawing their compositions to gratifying climaxes, and this interest in giving listeners a payoff makes the album less anarchic. The first piece erupts into a disjointed lockstep, sounding like Markus Popp remixing Merzbow's 1930. By the performance's end, we reach information overload, sounds scraping, screeching, and canceling one another out in a post-industrial avalanche. Think of it as Nude Stumbling Drunkenly Down a Staircase.

1. Track 1
2. Track 2
3. Track 3
4. Track 4