Charles Barabé / Jean-Sébastien Truchy: Les Confessions II / Souvenirs Rompus, Oubliés Ou Ma Vie Réinventée split tape (Unit Structure Sound Recordings, 2015)

October 10, 2015 at 3:18 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Charles Barabé / Jean-Sébastien Truchy: Les Confessions II / Souvenirs Rompus, Oubliés Ou Ma Vie Réinventée split tape

Charles Barabé / Jean-Sébastien Truchy: Les Confessions II / Souvenirs Rompus, Oubliés Ou Ma Vie Réinventée split tape

Last year, Quebec composer Charles Barabé released “Insultes (hommage à John Cage)”, the most flat-out hilarious recording of the year, which set a computer voice reading negative YouTube comments about a performance of 4’33” to clattering, noisy drone. This tape is the first work I’ve heard by Barabé other than that piece, and it’s equally stunning for entirely different reasons. “Les Confessions II” is a dense, bracing, busy collage of street sounds (clunking footsteps, traffic, chattering) with saxophone flutters, modular synth noise, and later some guitar layers and I think a Fleetwood Mac “Albatross” sample. The modular passages are sizzling, messy, and brain-warping, and the way everything else is mixed creates such an overcrowding, all-encompassing effect. It is just simply astonishing. I haven’t heard Truchy before, and his side has a similar city-voyager type feel, although it’s not quite as dense or noisy surrealist. Lots of field recordings of public transit rides, and much more of a minimalist, spacious feel. It does eventually get into some eerie synth droning, and then some more piercing, rumbling, noisy tones. Then we get into a ring modulated trip accompanied by close-miked whispering in French, and then eventually landing into some nature sounds. A pretty interesting audio journey, but not as incredible as the Barabé side.

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