SYLVAIN CHAUVEAU & CHANT1450: Echoes of Harmony-Early Music Reworked CD/DL Sub Rosa

SYLVAIN CHAUVEAU & CHANT1450: Echoes of Harmony-Early Music Reworked      CD/DL Sub Rosa

A crossover of early ensemble based repertoire of 15th and 16th century compositions, sound designed electronically, may not spark much interest for many; but it does grab my attention.

There is something majestic about the music created here, knocking on the door of Dead Can Dance, but flirting with the sounds of Gregorian spirituality; a mysteriously hidden, yet omnipresent lore.

Easy on the ear and surprisingly un-subcultural (considering the contemporary electronic influence), this does have a touch of the major league to it, where this could be exposed to a wider classical market and they would revel in it. I could imagine this going down well in an old opera house or a sitting in grand medieval cathedral somewhere in Eastern Europe littered with candles burning at dusk.  On the flip side of the coin, this could also appeal to God botherer’s, sat at home on a Sunday afternoon lamenting their past discretions; and that’s where it becomes a tad droll.

Overall though, this is a pleasant and interesting piece of work.  I would struggle play this more than once and most likely will never again as it barely differs in experimentation throughout.  It is however, accomplished; and that’s more than can be said about a lot of releases out there.  My cat William loves it too; and nobody argues with him.


ANDRÉ STORDEUR: Complete Analogue and Digital Electronic Works 1978-2000 2xLP/3xCD Sub Rosa


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.


LUCA FORCUCCI: Fog Horns CD Sub Rosa


LUCA FORCUCCI: Fog Horns  CD Sub Rosa

I always find it interesting to hear how an artist found his inspiration for an album.  For Luca Forcucci it was the culmination of a 12-hour flight to San Francisco and sleep deprivation, where upon landing he heard the sound of foghorns; later on he recorded these sounds.

Given the fact I despise a lot of albums based on field recording work, I approached this three-track release with some trepidation.  The recordings are clear and Forcucci has been clever enough to tear these apart with vinyl scratches and pulled some other sound sources together to form a rhythm; unfortunately the synopsis come the end of track one conveyed my fears, along with track two being a barrage of pointless noises that make little to no sense.

The one saving grace of this album though comes in the form of epilogue, ‘Winds’.  Utilising drones and other ambient sources Luca has at least formulated something more purposeful, but it certainly isn’t the best, nor is it the most competent I have heard within the genre.

I have to admit to being a tad let down.  I didn’t expect the best when hitting play, but nor did I expect two thirds of the album to be pointless self-absorbed drivel either.





Opening up with a set of field recordings isn’t the ideal way to grab my attention, unless of course it’s going to lead to something spectacular.  For the first two tracks, this was the staple output and it set things off in a bad light.

However, things are turned on their head come track three, ‘Kristall’.  Female vocals, part sung, part spoken, harmoniously counteract each other over a light ambient drone and is such an oddity that it’s hard not to become engrossed in the story they’re telling (even if I couldn’t understand every word they were saying).

‘From My Mother’s House’ doesn’t contain that many actual songs if truth-be-told.  These are scattered throughout the album with clusters of mini tracks created with various natural ambient manipulations in-between.  It’s effective in its own way, proving a plethora of audio infused visuals reminiscent to the direct opposite of a silent foreign movie, where the footage has been replaced with sound alone.

There is a complexity to this release that shouldn’t be taken at face value; it would be all too easy to cast this aside and ask just what the hell is going on.  Given some time to bed in, this is altogether an interesting album, occasionally letting its hair down and providing some glorious vocal talents to make their way to front of house.