A strange set of improvisations from the duo of Jean-Philippe Gross and Jean-Luc Guionnet, both on electronics, with Guionnet appearing on saxophone in context among sections of harsh sound or surprising silence, deconstructed/reconstructed/who-can-say what?
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Catalog ID: nueni #002
Squidco Product Code: 21277
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded live at Q-O2, in Brussels, Belgium.
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• Show Bio for Jean-Luc Guionnet
"Jean-Luc Guionnet is an elusive figure. A Parisian artist active in many fields (music, visual arts, cinema), he has mostly worked in electro-acoustics but also has a career in free improvisation, playing alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, church organ, and piano. He has collaborated with Éric La Casa, Éric Cordier, and André Almuro on tape music. His main free improv and jazz projects include Hubbub, Schams, Return of the New Thing, and the Joe Rosenberg quintet.
Guionnet made scientific studies before shifting to fine arts. He studied musique concrete under Iannis Xenakis and Michel Zbar, but also pursued studies in philosophy (esthetics) with Geneviève Clancy. His first works date from the late '80s and are mostly collaborations with filmmaker André Almuro (some have been issued by Ground Fault). Then came a lasting partnership with electro-acousticians Éric Cordier and Éric La Casa. Together they wrote the series "Afflux." Guionnet also produces the Ateliers de Création Radiophoniques ("creative radio workshops") for France Culture. His eclecticism has kept him at bay of recognition -- because to the eye of the press it strips him from some credibility and because running careers in philosophy (he was co-director for the review Terre des Signes from 1993 to 1996), painting (he exhibited from 1992 to 1997), and music simultaneously tends to be time-consuming.
The release of an eponymous CD by Dan Warburton's free jazz quartet Return of the New Thing in 1999 on the respected label Leo Records introduced Guionnet to a wider audience. Since then his activities as an improviser have constantly stretched toward the fringes of experimentalism. His participation in the French-Swiss group Hubbub and his duo with guitarist Olivier Benoit (&Un, 2002) follow the school of Berlin reductionism."-All Music, François Couture (http://www.allmusic.com/artist/jean-luc-guionnet-mn0000231714)
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1. Premier Angle
sample the album:
"Not your standard improv outing, no walk in the park. Angle consists of Jean-Philippe Gross and Jean-Luc Guionnet (each on electronics, I believe, Guionnet also wielding his alto) engage in rough play here, constructing entirely abrasive sounds and unpalatable blocks of noise, dismissing any notion of pleasantry. And it works quite well.
When, early on, Guionnet's flat, harsh, affectless alto tone is welded to an even harsher, more brutal one, it bores a clean, smoking hole in your skull, not very nice. The relatively quiet section that starts shows a fine disregard for the normal way of things, sending through opaque electronic ropes and shimmers, nothing very appropriate, events carried along by force of conviction. It plunges into digital silence at the flick of a switch, emerges 15 or so seconds later in an entirely different space, hissing steam and irregularly pounding metals that resolve into a seesawing, low thrum through which a pitiful alto whines (I've no doubt intentional), very effective. A solo alto section, highly controlled yet disjointed, followed by a quiet sequence which stands out, oddly enough, in that it does in fact conform to some areas we've familiarized ourselves with in this genre over the years; strong on its own, interesting when placed in this set.
Perhaps more surprising, we then hear Guionnet playing a very soft, simple "melody" over rumbling electronics, very attractive, I daresay, more so when the tone is splintered into delicate overtones, the electronics softly prodding (I'm thinking, due to the latter's exact overlapping, they might be generated here by Guionnet as well.). That's where it ends, having travelled from blunt and awkward to faux calm. A disturbing set, posing questions. Good stuff."-Brian Olewnick, Just Outside
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