Muzak Pour Ascenseurs En Panne
Circus Company Records
TBR: 12th June
Brigitte Barbu utilises sound collage and deep-sculpted composition to form unique and evocative electronic music productions. This album was recorded during a residence at the Our Lady of The Ark of The Covenant and makes use of all kinds of acoustics as well as many ingenious uses of instrument. Guitars have been teased from their original sound by electronics to produce a whole new dimension to their voice. Synthesiser, computer, effects rack, and a head full of dreams have led to this hugely momentous piece of work.
The album opens with Dae Boj DeMoya. A looped mixture of sounds opens the track, which are shuffled along and stitched with ever more disjointed sonics. A bass begins to twang while high end strings bounce and shimmer on spectral guidances. Whistle like tones glide on icy textures as resonant thunder rumbles in distant ranges. Loose yet perfectly positioned snippets continually merge into the mix. A continual breathing of melody acts like a thread which permeates even when rhythm is added. Crisp and distorted percussion adds yet more layering to this amalgam.
This is followed by a strange sample followed by a chunky and de-tuned rhythm. Wah bass thunders through in a brief plunge into groove. A minute passes by and Trou Vert 1 is over, to be replaced by Beau Zoo. This begins with laid-back melody which swishes in on dynamic fabric. A warmth beneath the tones gives rising currents to the dance inspired guitar. Speckles of note dapple like rain-drops as strings are bent and bottle-necked with graceful composition. Sounds of distances and space fold in, a mute ambience begins to fill the soundsphere as drum-beats like alien hearts resonate in the near stillness.
Disparate squelches and thumps make up the meat of Trou Vert 2. A siren like synth adds splashes of tone and puddle within a sludgy picture of voices and strangeness. This opens out into Sainte Amante. Stringed sounds combine with odd bells which clatter and clunk in distorted spaces. Fizzing tones with squeaks and scattered harmonisations give an odd perspective to a tubular and deep rhythm. The music shifts to a looped sample for a moment until that hypnotic and inward reaching tone returns. Melody on electronic noises adjusted for pitch and tone shape makes interesting additions to the second half of this track.
Sinuety rhythms slenderly snake out a crafty groove that shudders which depth and resonance. Yet another short number, Trou Vert 3 in fashion makes way for something more epic. The music overlaps to bring in shrieks of synthesiser which glisten on space-age zeniths. A rhythm gradually makes a layer through the abstract injection of progressive loops. Couvre chef en peau de taupe takes us to a distant energetic realm where intention and motive reflect in endless corridors of opportunity. We are taken to almost near silence for the beginning of what comes next. Distant thumping drums find a space in the nothing as sinister synthesiser decorates the passages. Trou Vert 4 ends abruptly.
Ray Z begins with a rhythmic synthesiser tone that dashes with velocity and adjusting tone. Varying elements of instrumentation add different melody patterns which harmonise in strange dimensions as notes bend and squash into place. Slow moving yet full of thick and gloopy sonic atmosphere, new elements find crevices and hand-holds to latch their dynamic to. The rhythm is given more pressure, extra beats find the half-measure, quarter-measure, and then begin to snake through the fizzing and reactive enchantment that surrounds it. Next, another micro-dose of atmospheric and rhythmic sound makes an appearance, it seems to follow on from its previous rendition. Trou Vert 5 ends on a vocal sample, repeating in a ghostly echo.
Droning melodies open the final number. Splatters of rhythm are hard to find among bendy notes which glow and fade in slow-burning formations. A deep tone begins to harmonise in a unitone pulse, it gathers energy and then fades away again as other notes dance and gesture on the liquid tension of presence. The music has a sleepy edge which lays us down for dreamy introspection and barely gives us enough motivation to reach for the play button when it's over. Luckily the album ends on a full mix of the entire album as one bonus track.
You can listen to Brigitte Barbu on Spotify
Visit Circus Company Records online
Rowan Blair Colver for The Electro Review.