PETE FARN: RePete! (2021)
“There are very good moments in this RePete that make easier to discover it a little more”
1 Rapid Rabbit 6:34
2 Kraut Piece 6:16
3 Der Esel Trottet 11:28
4 Begegnungen 5:30
5 Konzentrat 4:11
6 Heizfläche 8:41
7 Hubber Blipps 8:11
8 Hoko Mata 7:06
9 Baalang 6:39
(CD-R/DDL 64:38) (V.F.)
(Space-rock, Modular Synth EM)
I wasn't really sure! Let's just say that Rapid Rabbit quickly seizes us from this urge to let go for REPETE (RePete) by Pete Farn. Its beginning is hard with a strange metallic explosion that stretches into a perfidious breath of a beast ready to grab us. Yet, the cello's caresses are at the opposite end of the spectrum, while structuring an atmosphere as intriguing as the previous album Sweet Metal. The rhythm? You have to invent it in your head with these hundreds of little lost steps running in all directions of a cubic room with 6 feet for each wall, the floor and the ceiling. That's tight! The percussions play take the pace up a notch while staying motionless. The oboes are magical, and their songs invite the birds to do the same. The cellos pull the strings of fright with dense orchestrations as Rapid Rabbit gets swallowed by this beast whose only sounds we are hearing are the grunts and stomach noises. Without necessarily saying that this first title indicates quite well the nature of Peter Schaefer album, it shows quite well the nature of REPETE. In a fauna of distortions, weird noises and regurgitated from the interstices of his many instruments, friend Pete exploits hard to pin down directions. Evanescent rhythmic structures constantly break up without any link to reform later are all over the 9 structures of the album. Fuzz-wha-wha effects and guitar distortions dominate an album whose psychedelic space-rock temperament is guided by a good bass and the influences of Ash Ra Tempel's early albums, Schwingungen period and others.
Precisely, a title like Kraut Piece is no stranger to these influences. The guitar is catchy, as much as the bass, on a rhythm sharpened by percussive rattles. The guitar effects draw reverb loops that spin and spin in an atmosphere that could well describe an acid trip. The track evolves into a more ethereal finale with seraphic whispers and hazy orchestrations to finally end in a big garage rock. So are the other 7 structures of REPETE! Der Esel Trottet stands out with a good minimalist rhythm that is quite haunting by a wonderful work at the level of percussive elements' samplings. Elasticated, the bass play is quite seductive. I was hooked on the first listen and subsequent listens have proven me right. Various interferences hinder the opening of Begegnungen. Between the guitar effects, an electric six-strings and a bass with a jazz soul start a jam session where a short fluty melody survives. Without a real rhythmic identity the track exposes its few gems to move towards a sort of deconstructed Jazz and Blues. Konzentrat is also an experimental track without rhythmic frame. It's a bit like a garage band looking for something to compose. There are a lot of fuzz-wha-wha effects, and it unlocks into a rock à la Frank Zappa. Apart from the collection of strange noises that surrounds Heizfläche, the music offers a good space-rock with a voice that speaks more than sings. It reminds me a lot of Ashra Tempel's first albums. Crazier, more rhythmic and more musical too, Hoko Mata is on the same level with a nice oboe tune. A track as seductive as Der Esel Trottet. By removing all the noise artifices of Hubber Blipps we feel a Motown texture, like The 5th Dimension or The Temptations without voices and without rhythms. Baalang ends REPETE with a tribal rhythm full of organic effects, monstrous gurgles and chords thrown into a bowl that is shaken like a dice and spilled on the floor. It's everything and nothing in a rambling structure that still finds a way to appeal to fans of psychedelic music without boundaries or blinders.
There is no doubt in my mind that there is an audience for Pete Farn's music. You only have to watch his videos on the Internet to see the curious crowd gather to admire this strange musician who seems to know how to communicate with sounds. There is also SynGate which, year after year, releases his latest sound fantasies. And for these reasons, we have to talk about it! According to me, it is not his best, Sweet Metal was really strong, but there are very good moments that make it easier to discover it a little more.
Sylvain Lupari (November 11th, 2021) *****
Available at SynGate Luna Bandcamp