Martin Brandlmayr: Vive Les Fantômes (Thrill Jockey, 2019)

May 28, 2019 at 8:44 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Martin Brandlmayr: Vive Les Fantômes

Composer/percussionist Martin Brandlmayr’s Vive Les Fantômes is a radio play recorded for broadcast on German radio station SWR. It numerous snippets from interviews, rehearsals, and performances by jazz artists like Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk, and the sounds are blipped in, repeated, and transformed throughout the 53-minute piece. Shocking bursts of horn and abrupt drum rolls pierce the ambient landscape, Miles Davis repeatedly talks about the sounds of astronauts taking off into space, Jacques Derrida answers his phone. Brandlmayr’s sparse, spacious drumming threads things together during several points. As with Negativland’s work, sounds repeat themselves in a way that both emphasizes their content and also turns them into a sort of meme-like running joke, but this mix isn’t nearly as dense or socially conscious. It’s a much more abstract collage which invites the listeners to reflect on what certain moments mean to them.

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