ANDRÉ STORDEUR: Complete Analogue and Digital Electronic Works 1978-2000 2xLP/3xCD Sub Rosa
As you expected, with such a lengthy history in producing music; this latest compilation of work by Belgian composer Stordeur, is lavishly packaged on both vinyl and compact disc, covering the varying stages of his career in music.
Disc one ’18 Days’ covers the years 1978-1979; and as you can imagine is a pretty basic and experimental affair. Stordeur released this at the time with the objective of offering the public an alternative (in his own words) “to the so-called ‘cosmic’ electronic music played and promoted intensively by the mass media”. It is in itself quite space age in its reverberated delayed bleeps and sounds; and in a lot of respects, without form and desperate, with a touch of the Industrial for good measure.
Disc two; ‘Analogue and Digital Works’, draws on three lengthy tracks composed between 1978 and 2000. 35 minutes of ‘Oh Well’ seemed quite a fitting title, as the majority of it was nonsensical garbage that made little sense. ‘Chant 10A’ however, is a 17-minute field of droning Dark Ambient, that is as satisfying as the majority of this ilk and the best they can deliver; dragging the listener in for an emotive journey through pitch change. ‘Nervous’ closes proceedings on this chapter, irritating in its high-pitched electronic approach, grating on the nerves somewhat.
The final section of work ‘6 Synthesis Studies’ (circa 2000); is by and large the most experimental output on the entire release. Whether this is due to changes in technology is anyone’s guess, as Stordeur seems to have more at his disposal to play with. Musically though, some of the songs are a trifle cack-handed, such as the badly composed ‘Raga’ and ‘Karma’, just coming across amateurish in construction. The other tracks are an arpeggio nightmare, like this was Stordeur’s latest discovery; and boy was he gonna use it.
It’s clear that this bloke has been around for some time and has some moderate success over the years. Whether this justifies such a beautifully packaged historic memoir of sound is anyone’s guess; although I trust those who have followed him all these years will relish this for their collection. For me however, in all fairness it doesn’t entirely stand the test of time.