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Always enjoyed the tape music of French genius Jérôme Noetinger, but it’s usually been heard in the context of small group improvisation, electro-acoustic duo team-ups, and such like. Very good to hear him with a solo release now, and a double album at that. Sur Quelques Mondes Étranges (GAGARIN RECORDS GR2042) should more than satisfy your urge to hear what this man can do with his trusty Revox tape recorder. Although when I say “urge”, with me it’s an obsessive compulsion.

It’s been made mostly with the Revox B77, but also electronics, radio sets, and prepared recordings, and was all performed live in the studio. There are no overdubs and everything was recorded using room mics, plus something called “tube broadcast monitors” were part of the audio chain…I’m assuming that’s a good thing, and there’s no doubt that the electrifying “live room sound” is what passes over to the listener on hearing this exciting double LP, the moment you click on the stylus. Vivid! Unstoppable! Convulsive! You bet! Anthony Pateras, the Australian composer and modern electronicist, has provided a press note and is unstinting in his praise of this great French player, noting his respect for “the acousmatic tradition” and reminding us that Noetinger has pretty much dedicated his life to his music, working with the Revox machines for over 35 years now in production of live electro-acoustic music. Pateras speaks warmly of “tireless timbral research” and the “detailed and rich vocabulary”, sentiments we can only endorse. It’s also worth dwelling on the “aurally strange” dimension which Pateras highlights – true to its title this record does offer glimpses and views of Quelques Mondes Étranges, where almost no sound is familiar, and some of them are shockingly odd and troubling. Ideas unspool at a quicksilver pace, often three or more events unfolding in real time before us inside this galactic zoo, this fifth-dimensional aquarium.

Can’t stress enough the tiny miracle of hearing these profound transformations, these radical shifts, happening live in the studio, where jolts and currents dance about in uninhibited fashion…which shows something about the achievement of this French maverick oxide-wrangler who has deliberately avoided the laptop route, where sounds pass before us after their 200th trip through the digital reprocessing factory using ho-hum software that knocks all the corners off, and they arrive listless and apathetic, denuded of all life. Not so with Noetinger, whose music lives and breathes fire, flowing with the blood and juices of creation. Strap into the chair now to hear nine explosive short episodes – with surreal titles like ‘White Horse against UFOs’ and ‘Le Bouffon Moderne’, and even a French translation of Sun Ra’s Cosmic Tones for Mental Therapy – then settle into Side C for a fizzy distorted interrupto-drone that lasts for 18 minutes and is guaranteed to dispel headaches, rheumatism, and other winter ailments. The lock-grooves on side D don’t work exactly as planned on my promo CD, but they should send your mind (what’s left of it) into a state of bedlam quite soon. A true modern triumph of analogue electronic music and imaginative ideas, presented on Felix Kubin’s label (and who better, himself being a champion of old-school methods and equipment for as long as I can recall). Tale a big bite out of the strange…recommended!! (15/08/2022)

15 Coruscations
in Vital 1398

On the same label, the duo of Jérôme Noetinger and Antony Pateras. The first seems to be picking up speed with releasing music these, while Pateras is always busy with new releases (so it seems, at least). Noetinger is an expert in live manipulating a Revox B77 reel-to-reel recorder; Pateras is your man behind the piano, keyboard and electro- acoustics. They worked together before part of the Thymolphthalein quintet (which also included Natasha Anderson, Will Guthrie and Clayton Thomas), see also Vital Weekly 767 and 1007, and on 'Beauty Will Be Amnesiac Or Will Not Be At All' (Vital Weekly 1080). They both take credit for electronics. There are fifteen pieces (obviously) on '15 Coruscations', which word I had to look up the meaning of, "to give off or reflect light in bright beams or flashes: SPARKLE" and "to be brilliant or showy in technique or style". You choose which applies to the music, I guess. This album contains musique concrète and, as such, the live variety. At least, that's what I thought when I heard this. Maybe it is the result of endless editing, but I'd be surprised to know it is, and if so, then it's hats off; they did a great job of retaining a very live feeling of these pieces. These fifteen sparks fly by like sparks do, I guess. The album is under thirty-eight minutes, meaning some of these pieces are brief. But with the collage-like nature of the music, you can also see this as one long collage, which worked best for me. Lots of small sounds, cracks, buzzing, scratching of objects, whirring of cables, field recordings, loops and whatever else you can think of. The two men interact excellently, going all wild, all quiet, and everything in between. Hence one long tale and not fifteen short ones, but I imagine someone may have an entirely different idea about this and judge these as individual pieces. This album could have been a bit longer, but playing it again was equally satisfying. (FdW)


Drainage in six parts dans Revue & Corrigée
septembre 2023

J’aime assez l’idée qu’il faille envisager la succession d’albums d’une ou d’un musicien non pas comme une accumulation mais comme un tout. Ainsi, on peut envisager Drainage, In Six Parts comme une suite logique d’Outside Supercolor, ou plus sûrement de Maiandros du trio Antoine Chessex, Francisco Meirino et Jérôme Noetinger. Suite ou non, quoi qu’il en soit, les bases deviennent, avec les années et les écoutes, familières. Drainage, In Six Parts est comme son nom l’indique une suite en six parties, électroacoustique. Plus absconse et filandreuse que sur le disque précédemment évoqué, la musique du duo est aussi, et paradoxalement, plus apprivoisée. Il n’y a là rien de péjoratif, ce serait même plutôt le contraire : plus cette musique avance dans notre inconscient, et plus nous sommes à même d’en percevoir les détails. Et Drainage, In Six Parts en regorge. Enregistré en 2019, édité et mixé en 2021, cet album a pris le temps de décanter avant de nous parvenir. Francisco Meirino y exploite un synthé modulaire, des fields recordings aux provenances plus que variées, pendant que Jérôme Noetinger tord son Revox B77, et triture des sons électroniques, ou issus de CD et de radios. Il y a, dans cette forme de musique, une non-musique réfugiée. Un spectre passant d’une pièce à l’autre, tortueux ou se débattant avec ses propres maux. Le spectre étrange d’une musique effacée, dont seuls les parasites et les lésions auraient survécu. Une bande magnétique partiellement effacée, dont on entendrait la lointaine complainte. Ce curieux sentiment est renforcé lors des passages furtifs et vraisemblablement aléatoires de la radio... Qui chante ? Est-ce une apparition, une idée que l’on se fait ? La matière électronique ne cesse de rouler, de vous filer entre les mains, sans vous laisser le soin de vous y accrocher, pendant que tout autour les voiles concrets mais énigmatiques drapent l’ensemble d’angélophanies aériennes.

Laurent NERZIC in R&C 137, Septembre 2023

Drainage in six parts
in Vital 1408


DRAINAGE, IN SIX PARTS (CD by Klanggalerie)
In 2019, Francisco Meirino from Switzerland and Jerome Noetinger from France did a concert (I think) at the La Becque Residency Center in Switzerland, mixed in 2021 in Lausanne and Rives. I assume the cities where these musicians live. Armed that day for recording, Meirino brought in a modular synthesizer, field recorder and microphones and Noetinger his trusted Revox B77, electronics, radio, CD player and tapes. Maybe this wasn't a concert but a residency for a few days, resulting from their collaboration. As I am playing this release several times, it dawned on me (I am known to be a slow thinker) that I grip a lot about improvised music, but, obviously, this is a work of improvised music. But then, as a sort of radical live-action musique concrète work that I enjoy very much, their approach is that 'we take no hostages'; they go in at full force, with sounds bursting and cracking, explosions left and right. I don't know if Noetinger, in his set-up of live loop montage, also adds sounds from Meirino to the melee. Maybe he does, maybe he doesn't. Sounds are cut short, vanish in a hole in the ground, or are shot up in the sky. Don't think this is a noise release, far from it; these men also know to have moments of careful approach, in which they sparsely use sounds, but it all sits next to a more brutalist process, in which they go all the way. It is not a harsh noise per se but fiercely loud. And yes, all of this is very much improvised, but this is the kind of improvisation that I enjoy very much. It is on the same level as noise music when it's done correctly; then I am all for it, and in that respect, this is not only improvised music but also noise music. Electro- acoustic music without the care and protection, but with some moments of reflective sparseness. This is forty-two minutes of sonic bliss. That's how I liked them best. (FdW)


Outside Supercolor
in Vital 1395

Just over a month ago, I caught Jérôme Noetinger live at De Perifeer in Deventer (NL). He was on a double bill with recorder player Anne Gillot, both hail from France. Both sets were amazing, Noetinger playing his set with a small synth, some FX and an old Revox reel-to-reel machine. He was able to create a live cut-up situation without actually splicing tape. Gillot created a distortion effect in my ears (!) just playing two small recorders. It was a memorable afternoon. Having heard Noetingers set and recently listening to his double LP 'Sur Quelques Mondes Étranges' on Gagarin Records, I was expecting more or less the same here. But surprisingly, his new CD is totally different. This work is based on his collaboration with visual artist Lionel Palun. Together they used sound and video to create feedback loops between the two, resulting in two tracks, both around 18 minutes long. The first track consists of a mid-range electrical hum, slowly getting in and out of phase and modulating. It grows into an almost menacing wall of hums as if we’re getting lost inside the huge condenser station of a power plant. It starts very minimalistic but gradually gets more complex. This is good minimalism. Track two has yet another surprise in stock: don’t expect more of the same. A fluttering takes the stage, slowly modulating but soon expanding into an assault of oscillating tones, suddenly cut off, leaving us with an intense, meditative bass part. Both tracks are constructed with care and beautifully built up. With under 40 minutes, this is a short release, but I feel that it’s quite enough for a wonderful journey. The sleeve design is toned down, as with many of the ROOM40 releases, but it has been very nicely embossed, which gives it a smooth extra touch.
For those who want to check out a live performance by Noetinger and Palun, go here: experience/
It might give you an appetite. (RM)

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