SYLVAIN CHAUVEAU: S (Type Recordings)


Posted on Oct 25th 2007 10:13 pm

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Sylvain Chauveau: S

Type Recordings 2007
o5 Tracks. 21mins.40secs

With his past few releases, be it under his own name or the On moniker, Sylvain Chauveau has been moving away from his gorgeously sparse and poetic piano works, towards brooding electroacoustic compositions. His first recording on the Type label attempts a fusion of these two realms, resulting in something that is heterogeneous stylistically, yet clearly reserved in its musical forms. Each track enjoys a short but seething lifespan, consisting of discrete audio chunks that are fragile, tentative, and irresolute.

Gassy hissing provides a subtle background for the ambling, clanking guitar figures on E/R, for instance, whereas elsewhere, metromomic clicks are shrouded in spectral drones. At the same time, though, these pieces hang suspended in a netherland between movement and stasis, between difference and repetition, and fail to achieve any real sense of event.
In addition, more often than not, the slow wheeze of muffled electronics or single, ringing guitar notes have a sort of flatness about them, rarely, if ever, forming lasting or otherwise significant relationships with one another. Now and again, the characteristic piano vignettes reappear, minimally anchored and resplendent, but their appearances are irregular, and largely further the somewhat confused sense of the arrangements.

There are, to be sure, particular moments that stand out, particular works such as A_ where disintegrated voices recombine and rise out of the sticky and thick bass drones, issuing forth a haunting moment of clarity amidst the overcast, yet more than anything, they are the expressions of the albums inconsistency, of its general lack of a conception of consistency.


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