Michele Mercure: Beside Herself (Rvng Intl, 2018)

December 25, 2018 at 1:15 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Michele Mercure: Beside Herself

Beside Herself collects material from self-released cassettes, as well as film and theater scores, by Michele Mercure (once known as Michele Musser), whose LP Eye Chant was reissued by Freedom To Spend last year. All home-recorded and mostly instrumental, these tracks are generally too light to be considered industrial, although there’s some inventive found-sound sample usage on tracks like “Beside Myself” and “An Accident Waiting To Happen” (which forges a rhythm out of car crash effects). Mercure describes her performances in the liner notes, explaining that she wants to leave the audience with an impression rather than just stand in front of a bank of synthesizers, so she incorporated things like films, masks, and audience participation. Her music does have a sort of theatrical bent to it; “Liberation Day” seems to serve as the theme for a sort of imaginary psychodrama. A few pieces feature fretless bass or guitar from guest musicians, giving them somewhat more of a human feel, but tracks like the curious “A Void Dance” are more stiff and robotic. Taking things into a stranger dimension is “Night Music”, which starts out with a looped switching sound suspensed in mid-air, then briefly gaining a playful synth melody later on. Following the swampy “Antigone”, this inventive collection ends with the brief, frozen epilogue “Antarctica”.

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