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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

FREDERIC GERCHAMBEAU: New Colors of Sound (2014)

Updated: May 26, 2021

 “We are in the lands ofpure musical experimentations here. No rhythms, fews harmonies and lots of New Colors of Sound

1 Uncertainty Bridge 16:35

2 Watching the River Flow 13:51

3 Circumreverbambulation 11:46

4 Chakchouka 14:22

5 Misshappen Morning 13:02

(CD 69:38) (V.F.)

(Expérimentations Sonores)

Sounds! A constellation of sounds and their correlations in a purely experimental pattern. Dissonances or electronic harmonies? The heart of the debate. Adventurer of sounds, as much comfortable in harmonic envelopes as in cacophonous spheres, Frédéric Gerchambeau pushes his sound experiments to the limits of the tolerance with an album built on loops and echoes which are used as supports to a sound constellation without rhythms, nor harmonies. The idea behind the concept is more a matter of theory where Frédéric Gerchambeau illustrates, in sounds, methods of composition which are dear to him by exploring sonic territories that he would never have imagined. The result is rather puzzling and will suit mainly to the real fans of synths, their tones and their immense possibilities. I'll say it straight to you; I heard in this nothing very appealing if we are seeking for melodies or rhythms. Except that once we took knowledge of the reasons and motivations around NEW COLORS OF SOUND, we listen to it with another ear. But the result remains the same. The sounds gather in our ears such as a thousand of bees uncertain to want to pollinate and where they are a little lazy, like winds without strength. Although in Uncertainty Bridge, doubtless the most musical music piece here, they roar, fume and doze off in the fascinating colors of the multiple reverberations. One would say an exorcist of a synth possessed by the Phantom of the Opera. And it's even more true in the cathedralesque, Circumreverbambulation which eats our eardrums with its reverberations which agglutinate and crawl such as a knot of grass-snakes in the mud. The effect of big organ with hoarse sounds remains rather intrusive. Each track is delivered in a spirit of live sessions. There is no re-recordings and Frédéric Gerchambeau shows a surprising cohesion (Uncertainty Bridge) for a completely improvised music. I wouldn't say that Gerchambeau reveals here pallets of sounds in order to build harmonious landscapes. No. I would rather say that he democratizes the ambiences, the art and the possibilities of synths by bringing them to a closer level of understanding of the general public. At this level, the progression of Watching the River Flow, I like the very cosmic background in it, is rather attractive if we put ourselves in the skin of an astronaut of sounds. For the rest, we cross perfumes of cosmic dissonances in some ambient chirping where Frédéric Gerchambeau remains proud of his uncompromising approaches which demonstrate, and it is the ultimate purpose of this exercise on the color of the sound, the  immense possibilities of a modular system. Good listening. And say to yourselves that EM has started from there. Imagine now all the genius which hides beneath the envelopes of skin of those who grind and torture those toys, bringing EM at the level it is today!

Sylvain Lupari (January 31st, 2015) *****

Available at PWM

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