12″ vinyl (ltd.ed. 300 copies)
Since the 1990s, French sound artist Cédric Peyronnet has established himself as one of the most prolific and original composers working with field recordings. After numerous CD releases under his own name and as ingeos and toy.bizarre, this is his first ever vinyl. It was made commissioned by composer and label head EMERGE. A long-standing fan of Peyronnet, he contributes a piece to the split release that is based on Peyronnet’s recordings.
The theme running through the whole split album is the acoustics of mines. All material is based on field recordings made by Peyronnet in (partially disused) French mines in the mid-1990s. Scratching, gravelly, cavernous sounds dominate the soundscape, evoking a world of subterranean gloom that seems familiar to listeners of EMERGE’s bass-heavy drone compositions. In Peyronnet’s piece, the field recordings are simply arranged in a collage-like manner, but the atmosphere created by this editing is strikingly similar to the one dominating the album side processed by EMERGE. This turns the album into a subtle play with the expectations of the audience. What just a second ago seemed to be mere random ambient sound suddenly turns into a musical structure through rhythmic repetition, and an apparently documentary audio snapshot might actually be digitally treated. Through this intriguing interplay, the two artists make us reflect on the role of the recording medium which, through the very fact that it is a medium, turns every ‘natural’ sound into a ‘cultural’ artefact.
File under: phonography, drone