GILLES AUBRY / STÉPHANE MONTAVON – Les Écoutis Le Caire

Gruenrekorder

This release is part of a label series devoted to field recordings, though the latter only constitute the groundwork of something more comparable to a minimalist opus than a collection of acoustic landscapes. Indeed the way in which Gilles Aubry processed and seamed voices and urban noises from Cairo – taped in 2007 during a residency – tends to exploit the canorous properties of the local activities, disposed according to criteria of rhythmical reiteration and mind-cuddling resonance with just a slight addition of electronic frequencies. Mixing the results in two separate pieces, Aubry shows us useful shortcuts in a neighborhood where failure is right behind the corner. We can choose among different listening methods: focusing on the discovery of hidden details, or using the record as a source of pleasingly insistent metropolitan textures to match a particularly meditative phase of a quiet evening (I confess of having fallen asleep at some stage in the first try). The CD is complemented by a sizeable “wordmap” containing Stéphane Montavon’s text about the “audiovisual discrepancies” of the situations encountered in the city throughout the staying period. Written in French – a language unfortunately never mastered by this reviewer – the document contributes to an artistic assertion that deserves attentive appraisals before the emission of a definitive verdict. My gut feeling is one of concord, reinforced by consecutive spins.

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