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Pontevia, Mathias: Laminaire (Un Reve Nu)

Solo recordings of percussionist Mathias Pontevia embracing a breathtaking variety of approaches and sonic environments, in a beautiful art release with the CD attached to a laminated disc with embedded objects.

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Limited edition of 300 factory pressed CDs. Each object is a unique art piece. The "cover" is compound of a selection of little objects, photos, collages and so on, embedded in a hard transparent resin disk 13.5cm diameter and 2cm thick. Collages, moulages & réalisation Zéhavite Cohen

Label: Un Reve Nu
Catalog ID: urn002
Squidco Product Code: 14938

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2011
Country: France
Packaging: Hand-made clear plastic art collage CD holder inside a black burlap bag
Recorded on May 25 2010 at Musée du Saut du Tarn (1, 2) and in the Rasisse lake (3, 4, 5 & 6) & on May 26 2010 in Vaour Commandery (7, 8 & 9). Mixing Nicolas Carrière & Heddy Boubaker at studio 30bis, Lavaur. Mastering Nicolas Carrière at studio GMEA, Albi


Mathias Pontevia-drums

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track listing:

1. Career 12:02

2. Turbine 5:58

3. Le Cheval Et Le Serpent 1:52

4. Baie D'Along 8:27

5. Saccharomyces Cerevisiae 2:17

6. Vecteur 5:24

7. Koine 13:11

8. Did He Loose Air? 8:02

9. Meet The Brush 4:16
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"In all seriousness, this might be what the future of releases in our area of music looks like, a free download of the audio files combined with a limited edition, impossible to replicate physical release for those that still hanker after something special to put on the shelves. The release in question is Laminaire the second on the Un Reve Nu label, a new solo release by Mathias Pontevia, the drummer/percussionist who has never, despite what you might read in these pages been a member of the group Hubbub... Pontevia is a Bordeaux based musician with a history in free jazz, but can often be found straying into more abstract improvised waters, such as when part of the WPB3 group I have written about once or twice. This is the first solo outing I have heard from him however.

Now, I wrote about the first release on Un Reve Nu here back in 2009. That disc, a solo by Guillaume Viltard was available as a free lossless download, but also came as a limited edition handmade release that consisted of two unique oil paintings held together with magnets, so housing the disc between them. The price of the physical release was high, but it appeals a great deal to the likes of me that appreciates music made available for free but also likes to purchase a well presented physical object so as to ensure those responsible for releasing the music get something back in return. Laminaire has been released in a similarly extravagant edition that sees the disc attached to the underside of a clear resin disc, inside which assorted random objects have been set. The image here is not of my personal disc, which contains bits of wire, some kind of tiny penknife/keyring, photos and a yellowing leaf, but it is similar. The resin disc is then housed inside a handsome black material pouch. Even before you put the CD in the player the release makes an impression. Its not like anything else I own, and while the resin disc is somewhat OTT and not something I personally find that attractive, it is certainly very different, individual and lovingly made.

More importantly though- how does it sound? Well there are a variety of approaches here, ranging from the more traditionally played, though expressively flared opening tracks through to the more spacious and inventive array of sounds on the later ones. The opening "Career" indeed careers around a bit, twelve minutes of lopsided cymbal strikes and deep rumbling bass sounds broken up by flurries of scattered metallic attack. The tracks have been recorded in various places. The first two tracks here, including the storm-like brooding and eruptions of "Career" were captured in a museum, and indeed the sound on these pieces feels big and resonant, as if the room in which they were recorded was a big, minimally furnished one. The next four pieces, if my basic French translation serves me correctly were recorded in (in?) a lake. Indeed, a photo at the label's website suggests that this may have been the case as well, though there is nothing in the third piece here to suggest that this was the case. Track four, named "Bale d'Along" on the other hand is bedded in a backdrop of twittering birds and passing aircraft, and while there is still nothing particularly watery about the music it does appear to have been recorded out of doors, so who knows. The fifth and sixth pieces sound similar, with the planes and birds on "Saccharomyces Cerevisiae" a nice, quiet filler in the longer gaps between the separated strikes and bowed cymbals of this more restrained, two minute long vignette. The sixth track, "Vecteur" is the most aggressive and angry here, full of crashing bass strikes and insistent scraped metals though the birdsong seems absent, perhaps all scared away by the heavier approach to playing.

"Koiné", track seven of nine, and the longest piece here at a little more than thirteen minutes is also my favourite of the works here. The sounds are broken up into little sections that settle apart like little islands, with a lot of small sounds applied, though the spaces between are never overly long and often still full of decaying metal sounds. There is a wide range of techniques and textures here, and some very nice decision making and placement of sounds beside one another that gives the track a calm, yet constantly interesting and occasionally surprising feel to it. All through the album I am reminded of the work of Le Quan Ninh, but here more so than anywhere else, though the music of the Swedish percussionist Erik Carlsson also springs to mind. Koiné is a superbly balanced, carefully considered improvisation that leaves itself wide open by avoiding the moments of thunderous turbulence we hear elsewhere on the disc but responds well, with barely a weak moment heard throughout.

The closing "Meet the Brush" is a quiet, gentle way to end the CD as just soft lines are drawn across drum skins, presumably with a brush, mostly textured grey hisses but with some quietly singing tones pulled out here and there. Overall Laminaire is a great listen. Its likely to appeal to quite a wide array of listeners as it touches on various trends in improvisation at various times, but throughout its a very skilled, nicely crafted set of pieces that suitably frame the work of one man clearly engrossed in what he can achieve with a drumkit. Solo improv albums work best for me when they really capture something of a musician's personality and character, and while I have never met Mathias Pontevia I sense that this Cd does just that. Nice work indeed, but of course you don't have to take my word for it, you can get the music for free from here."-Richard Pinnell, The Watchful Ear

Mathias Pontevia

"Seriously influenced by Varese, Elvin Jones, Jacques Tati, Barre Phillips, John Cage, Jack Dejohnette, Tex Avery, Lê Quan Ninh, Cecil Taylor, J.S. Bach, Jackson Pollock, Sunny Murray, Jimmy Lyons, Marcel Duchamp, John Coltrane, Rauchenberg, Louis De Funes, Michel Donéda, Miles Davis, Jean Sabrier, Banteay Srei, surfcasting fishing.

Founded (in 2001) and manages the music organisation Centre d'Improvisation Libre in Bordeaux. Plays a self made drum kit: horizontal bass drum, snare, cymbals, gongs, pieces of metal.

Rock with the Machine_Gun quintet: Julien Perrugini (bass) Ludowick Thomas (alto sax) Sébastien Capazza (tenor sax) Nush Wershowska (keyboards). Improvised music with David Chiesa (bass), Frédéric Blondy (piano), drums trio with Didier Lasserre and Edward Perraut; trio with Claude Saubole (guitar) et Benjamin Bondonneau (cl); quintet Claude Saubole Benjamin Bondonneau, David Chiesa and Fabrice Charles (trombone). Trio with B.Gauguet (sax) and J.S.Mariage (electric guitar). Trio with Heddy Boubaker (asax) and Nush Wershowska (piano). Plays solo helped-drums. Works and meets, Daunik Lazro (alto & bariton sax), Beñat Achiary (voice), Le Quan Ninh (percussions), Barre Philipps (bass), Jérôme Noetinger (electro-acoustics), Mickael Jeffrey Stevens (piano), Martine Altenburger (cello), Bertrand Denzler (tenor sax), Michel Doneda (soprano sax)... Improvising with dancers: Anne Gieysse, Ly Thanh Tiên (performer and poet), Camilla Escudero..."

Limited edition of 300 factory pressed CDs. Each object is a unique art piece. The "cover" is compound of a selection of little objects, photos, collages and so on, embedded in a hard transparent resin disk 13.5cm diameter and 2cm thick. Collages, moulages & réalisation Zéhavite Cohen
Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
Percussion & Drums
Limited Editions & Out of Print
Free Improvisation
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