The Squid's Ear Magazine


Chessex, Antoine: Subjectivation [VINYL] (Fragment Factory)

Using material from solo live performances in San Francisco, Berlin, Zurich and London between 2010 and 2015, composer and sound artist Antoine Chessex developed the two compositions of this album, extracting his electroacoustic altered saxophone work and developing them into larger works that bridge extreme and psychoacoustics approaches with great sonic depth.
 

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Antoine Chessex-electronics, saxophone


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Label: Fragment Factory
Catalog ID: [FRAG45]
Squidco Product Code: 26621

Format: LP
Condition: New
Released: 2018
Country: E.U.
Packaging: LP
Recorded live at The Compound, in San Francisco, California, the NK, in Berlin, Germany, Klubi, in Zurich, Switzerland, and at Cafe OTO, in London, United Kingdon. Mastered by James Plotkin.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

Subjectivation is the new solo album from Swiss artist Antoine Chessex. Produced by Rekem Records and Fragment Factory, it features some of his most direct and developed work to date. Using material from solo live performances in San Francisco, Berlin, Zurich and London between 2010 and 2015, the sides of this record distill the touchstones of Antoine's sonic language into two sharp and forceful statements.

The first side opens with a formidable tour-de-force, a developing field of distortion in which tenor saxophone adds on a metal-tinged sludgy tonality, wedged through dense masses of sound.

Following are some more subtly executed sonics, documented at London's Cafe Oto, on the second side. Here it is Chessex's multiphonics taking centre stage, a rapid-fire of voices from the horn that gets enveloped in a back-and-forth between electroacoustic structures, psychoacoustics, and pure tone.

Connecting the two sides is a meticulous attention to the different levels that operate within sound, and a compositional hand that favours intensity and depth, making this one of Chessex's most definitive statements. Antoine Chessex is a multifaceted composer and sound artist who works across a number of areas within adventurous sonic practices and art."-Fragment Factory



"The music this album contains causes as much of a sense of overload as the cover art, with its perpendicular textual tessellations. Chessex has long pushed the tenor sax beyond the realms of conventional jazz or even overt compositional forms, and Subjectivation, a collection of live actions (a term also used by the notorious noisemakers Whitehouse). Side 1 takes pieces recorded in San Francisco, Berlin, and Zurich between 2010 and 2014, while Side 2 documents a performance at LondonÕs Cafˇ Oto in 2015.

ItÕs all about the low frequencies at the front-end: the album begins with earth-moving, bowel churning bass tones that grind and snarl maliciously, and this, coupled with the conveyance of extreme volume places this in Sunn O))) territory, the atmosphere of creeping doom delivered at a pace and volume that punish slowly. And gradually Š although not nearly so gradually Š things intensify as additional layers of volume and frequency are added. The accompanying text describes it as a Ōfield of distortionÕ, but it doesnÕt come close. It seems unfeasible that such a raging sonic force could be sustained for any time, let alone increase, but increase it does, until there is nothing but a dense wall of obliterative noise. ItÕs impossible to discern there being any saxophone Š or indeed any music instrument Š in this vast, screaming whorl. IÕm staring at the speakers in awe, wondering just how much sound they can actually carry, and moreover, how much sound could be created in pure physical terms. Seven minutes into the fourteen-minute sonic barrage Š something akin to standing next to an RAF Vulcan preparing for take-off without earplugs or protective clothing, IÕm wondering if my skull might not implode and my brain before the end. ItÕs a perverse pleasure the pain of this sonic assault provides.

The London side is less full-on, although it would surely be difficult to be more full-on. Nevertheless, it matches Side 1 in terms of intensity. It builds quickly from an irritated hornet buzz into an infinite echo, a thousand horns, honking in unison to create a rippling reverberation of sound. Some time around themed-point, the sustained crescendo fades, leaving eardrum-fluttering feedback notes, shrilly quivering on and on, before the air is rent with shards of scraping industrial noise, the grinding of metal on metal on a fast, rotational plane. ItÕs as if with each shift, Chessex introduces a pitch and tone more unbearable than the one before. The tiny sound that hangs where there should be silence mimics tinnitus, creating one final torture in the albumÕs closing seconds. ThereÕs something cruel Š and unquestionably uncompromising Š about the way Chessex executes his sonic blitzkriegs, and for that, I admire him enormously."-Christopher Nosnibor, Aural Aggravation


Get additional information at Aural Aggravation

Artist Biographies

"Antoine Chessex is a Swiss composer, saxophone player and sound artist born in 1980 in Vevey (CH).

His works assume a wide diversity of forms spanning compositions for ensembles, solo performances, sound installations and transdisciplinary projects. Chessex's compositions are characterized by textural density and microtonal tensions often resulting in sound masses addressing the physical dimensions of sound and spaces. The works of Antoine Chessex have over the years crossed the boundaries between noise, modern composition, improvisation and electronic music.

His solo works feature dense layers of sustained pitches reacting with the architecture of the space he's performing in or massive clouds of amplified sax resulting in intense live actions in total immersion in the sound.

He presents his works worldwide and appeared at numerous international venues and festivals in the United States, Japan, China, Russia and all around Europe.

Recent compositional works include "DUST" for 3 violins and electronics (2010), "Schichten" & "Ritournelle Fulgurante"commissioned by oh ton Ensemble (2013 & 2014), "Metakatharsis" & "Damage is done" commissioned by the Phoenix Ensemble in Basel (2011 & 2015), "Chute" for the Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin (2012), "Plastic Concrete" & "Accumulation" for Apartment House in London (2014 & 2015), "Les Abîmes Hallucinés" for the Ensemble Proton in Bern (2016) as well as numerous electronic music pieces.

Collaborations with musicians Lasse Marhaug, Zbigniew Karkowski, Jérôme Noetinger, Maja Ratkje, Valerio Tricoli, Dave Phillips, the noise band Monno, architect Christian Waldvogel and media artist Ulrike Gabriel (Flow, 2002)."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antoine_Chessex)
2/16/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.


Track Listing:



SIDE A



1. San Francisco | Berlin | Zurich 2010-2014 14:47

SIDE B



1. London 2015 14:38

Related Categories of Interest:



Vinyl Recordings
Electro-Acoustic
Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Electro-Acoustic Improv
Sound, Noise, &c.
Organized Sound and Sample Based Music
Recordings by or featuring Reed & Wind Players

Solo Artist Recordings
New in Experimental & Electronic Music
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