LIONEL MARCHETTI & JÉRÔME NOETINGER – Paris / Genève

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Vinyl album with splendid cover pictures portraying the final stages of a decaying theatre; no notes, except something on the actual disc’s very label. A pair of live performances that must be enjoyed through headphones, or at least played at high volume to get overwhelmed by the incredible amount of quickly succeeding events. No risk of getting bored when these two artists are involved: ever since the opening minutes of the first performance (2009, at Geneva’s Cave 12) the intentions are clear, though the sources not always are. One fantasizes about irredeemable tape manipulations, a fair degree of processing, a whole lot of instant reactions to problems that might arise during the improvisation. Miraculously, everything works fine: snippets of French soccer commentary, emphasis on the disturbing qualities of human emission, choral superimposition of inarticulated utterances and deformed coughs weigh exactly the same in the music’s economy. The second side, recorded at 2007’s PRESENCES électronique festival in Paris, is perhaps a little “easier” to digest for the uninitiated, but equally impressive in its absolute unwillingness to accept compromise. Marchetti and Noetinger show a total command of the acoustic matter, involving the audience with unpredictable twists and turns while rejecting any tendency to ordinariness in the meantime. Phantom babbling, ill-dressed classicism, sacrilegious warping of normal activities. Call this stuff as you please, but don’t forget to listen attentively – and more than just once.

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