Mathias Delpanque’s “Témoins” reviewed by Vital

Following a number of releases some time ago by Mathias Delplanque it became quiet or perhaps not all of his releases reached me. Here we have a new work from him, his third on Cronica Electronica. Delplanque, born in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso in 1973, works very much with digital means, either under his own or as Bidlo, Lena, Stensil or with groups as Keda, PLY and The Missing Ensemble. His work involves collaboration with other musicians, but also filmmakers, dance, or can be seen in art galleries. On Temoins’ he has two works that were commissioned and both deal with a specific location. “The sites were used as recording studios for creating multi-layered compositions with minimal to none post-production. All instruments were played on site”, as said on the cover. There is one piece per side (site?), plus an extra one in the download version. The first side is ‘Roz’ recorded in Roz-sur-Couesnon in April-May 2014, which was commissioned by a gallery but was also a workshop with schools. It is very hard to tell what these instruments were that were supposedly played on site, as it consists mainly of field recordings; lots of bird sounds, a bit of water. Very occasionally there are the sound of bell (so it seems) from cows (again: so it seems), and it sounds like it’s a documentation of some kind of action, but what this action is doesn’t become very clear. It’s mysterious but it sounds pretty good. On the other side we have ‘Bruz’, recorded in t the Faculté des Métiers (IFA) de Bruz (Rennes) and mixed later on (just like the other side, implying, perhaps, there is some kind of mixing/editing and it’s not a strict documentation). Here we have entered a classroom and xylophone is waiting for you, or perhaps played in some automated fashion. Like on the other side there is quite a bit of rumble going on here, later on a bit of (mouth-) organ and in general I am as clueless as what this is all supposed to mean. If of course it means anything at all. Like the other side, it surely sounds fascinating, even when you are totally clueless. It is somewhere in between the registration of action(s), performance and field recordings, and adds another meaning to the word of composition, I guess. (FdW)

via Vital

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