Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Sylvain Chauveau – S.

This first release for Type records marks a return to minimalist experiments for Chauveau after his surprisingly faithful album of acoustic Depeche Mode covers in 2005. Over the five brief tracks his strongest weapon is tension, built with a play of elastic and irregular intervals. As on opener “Composition 8,” where a few low tuned electric guitar notes bob and eddy in a thick bass drone amongst the liquid popping of looped analog input contacts. The piece is bracketed by two louder “plug-in” noises, creating the illusion of a placid and self-generating oasis hidden from outer chaos. “P.” features Chauveau at the piano, seeming to acoustically recreate the overheard electric sounds of the previous. “E/R” is something of an anomaly here: an extended cycle of regular digital figures with little variation, not unlike contemporary minimal techno from Kompakt stripped of nearly all dance floor pretense. After another brief piano composition, the closer “A.” is a simple and quiet song that seems to have been fed a drug and left to weave and stumble upon itself. Chauveau continues to prod the world of post-Satie classical piano composition into new enclosures with subtle electronic boundaries.


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