Music Review | posted 15.03.2018
Various Artists
Musique Experimentale
Finders Keepers, 2018
Text Sebastian Hinz , Translation Sebastian Hinz
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Cover Various Artists - Musique Experimentale

Eene, meene, miste, es rappelt in der Kiste… (literally: one, two, three, there’s a rattle in the box). This German counting rhyme, which we used as playing children in Berlin’s backyards, is also – what many do not even know – the shortest definition of Musique concrète. In most cases anyway. More specifically, Musique concrète is the art of composing with sounds recorded on tape. It was also in many cases the result of the compositions of the Groupe de Recherches Musicales, initiated by Pierre Schaeffer in 1958, which more generally dealt with the study of electroacoustic music. The compilation »Musique Experimentale«, not compiled retrospectively, but published in this form in 1962, is a kind of assessment of the current state of this research. Apart from Luc Ferrari, however, the usual people suspected of this music are not to be heard, so no Bernard Parmegiani, Guy Reibel, François Bayle, nor Éliane Radigue. Instead, François-Bernard Mâche, Romuald Vandelle, Michel Philippot, and André Boucourechliev. That doesn’t make the record worse, quite the contrary. »Ambiance II (Toast Funèbre)« by Michel Philippot is a kind of blueprint of music concrète, which always understood itself as radiophonic art, in which music was developed from the word, from poetry. Noises were, by definition, decorative accessories. »Tautologos II« by Luc Ferrari and »Volumes« by François-Bernard Mâche support my rattle-in-the-box-theory. »Texte II« by André Boucourechliev, set in the darkness of stalactite caves, marks an early transition to synthesizer music. Finders Keepers reissues the compilation »Musique Experimentale« via their sublabel Cacophonic for the first time since 1976.

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