PALI MEURSAULT – Un(zéro)deux


Recorded in Grenoble in 2007, this music was conceived utilizing location recordings and found objects. The risk of predictability, as always with this type of offer, is particularly high but Meursault did a good job by producing a soundscape that remunerates our concentration, working at various stages of perceptiveness.

In a way the piece is sketched like the curve of life itself: starting from extremely reduced elements – although oddly manipulated since the very beginning – it progressively evolves into a well-shaped body whose muscles are entirely delineated, reaching its conclusive phase in bitter, if expected decay. The quasi-biotic character of the initial sections is instantly accepted by the expert ear, preparing us for the subsequent stages where – layer upon layer – the sonic stratagems gradually increase their thickness and, with it, the psychological impact, which at certain moments becomes significant. The potential ability to discern sources and mechanics doesn’t imply that emotions are not warranted: in particular, a section of looped aircraft moans is alone worth of the whole CD, even if each episode strikes as a rational consequence of what had come prior. This is not a “taped-in-town, stuck-in-the-mix” kind of joke; the fact that Meursault managed to reach this level of attention-gripping quality during a live performance impresses me greatly. A distant comparison, exclusively in terms of attitude towards research, might be Toy.Bizarre’s sound art. Yet an individual personality is easily detectable here, as this artist does not indulge in mere copycat-ism.

When enamelled emptiness leaves room to genuine diligence, there’s a reason for celebrating. In a world jam-packed with people who – being unable to get a different line of work – literally reinvent themselves as manufacturers of sounds (often making nice money out of inexpert audiences), the freshness of a record like Un(zéro)deux is all the more welcome.

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