Gigs, dance, art

January 19th, 2010: Alexandre Bellenger – En Progrès

@société de curiosités

I had missed the first installment of the series because of another show, but I had heard serious praise about it. That’s a misleading post title, by the way, as he only played the second part, but I’m feeling lazy.

The first part was called DD5, with Julien Skrobek and Quentin Dubost on guitar. Long silences with occasional chords or notes. Too much silence for me, often defeating the buildup of expectation. Then again it’s a fine line and I liked the awkwardness of trying to keep still and silent while picking up the background noise. Awkward because it still wasn’t long enough to take over. But I wasn’t won over.

The second and longest one — Perlaboration — was marred by a couple of technical breakdowns along the way. And I wish I hadn’t paid attention to the explanations beforehand, as they made its progress too predictable. Unless those expectations guided my perception. At first there was a lot going on and I really liked some of the sounds and their wide range. Unfortunately when it got quieter and bell-like I ran into my own technical difficulties: a recent and not completely healed ear infection added a layer of crackling static that pretty much ruined the end for me. I’d like another shot at it because I did like some elements but missed so much of the big picture.

The last — Decades after J.C. — was my favorite. The introduction made sense in helping me pick up some things, but I managed to ignore the details at times too. Six musicians: Quentin Dubost and Antoine Marroncles on gong, Miho and Dan Warburton on rainstick, and Julien Skrobek and Stromvarx on turntables. The blueprint called for sections of continuous or intermittent playing by each, but even though it was sometimes obvious, the process didn’t take over the music. The trekkiesish samples were a bit jarring, but did lighten up the whole, though that too quickly became irrelevant. Maybe having more people helped, but I think it’s also about the process showing a confidence I like: the confidence to write part of the music but let some of it undefined.


January 20, 2010 - Posted by | Music | , , , , , ,

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