Gigs, dance, art

April 18th, 2008: Aethenor / Antoine Chessex

@instants chavires

Part one of yet another April doubleheader. Surprising for me, which is a good thing because I’d rather be surprised. I like Monno, but Antoine Chessex on his own took it to another level. I won’t make a lot of fuss about his circular breathing technique. I’ve seen that put to not so great use before, and I’m too clueless to tell that apart from proficient use of loop pedals anyway. OK, either he did some impressive demo of that at the end of his set, or he fooled me somehow, it doesn’t matter. What matters to me is that his set was great. I mean this guy was on his own with his saxophone and a bunch of pedals, yet he managed to get across many different moods and sounds. At first it was all drone, but whereas some performers would stick to what works he meandered out of it. When he turned some badass feedback on, he kinda sounded like Sunn O))), and I’m not sure that’s a coincidence, what with his tack for dispelling any awe for his playing with breaks where he would just hold his instrument and reveal how much the loops had to do with it. Maybe that was not the point, because my appreciation was just reinforced by how that stressed the difference it made when he was actually playing. A very diverse set, melodic at times — and here I think the breaks helped me to focus anew instead of just wallowing in the physical experience — and often with an almost self-deprecating sense of humor that just underlined how interesting this all was, but without the pretense that can turn such performances into dour celebrations.

After this opening performance, Aethenor was pretty much disappointing. They just sounded too clean and proficient for my taste, and way too close to stuff that was done in the seventies. I’m not that fond of that decade anyway, but even I acknowledge that there was some interesting breakthroughs around there, but this just brought these to mind without bringing much of anything new. Enough said, I don’t like being that negative, maybe I just missed the point.

April 19, 2008 Posted by | Music | , , , , | Leave a comment