Boomkat Product Review:
Current artistic director of the inestimable GRM facility in Paris, François Bonnet aka Kassel Jaeger commits a moving, deeply introspective addition to the electro-acoustic canon with Aster; a collection of revisits and reworkings of material which marks both a consolidation of, and a departure from, some seventy years of research initiated by Pierres Schaeffer and Henry.
Ominous but romantic, and vast in scale yet microscopically grained, Aster yields a world of sound unto itself, tapping into parallel meta-dimensions of space and structure between and around the notes while taking the lessons of his predecessors into lusher new realms, where academic stoicism and process is infiltrated by a daring measure of sentiment and pathos which should immediately appeal to listeners in a way that electro-acoustic music’s more crenellated, obtuse offerings wilfully bypass.
We can point to his dissolution of classic melody and harmonic structures in Exposure Scale - Clair de Lune as a prime example of this approach and its beautifully melancholy effect which is spread throughout the album, lending a filigree sense of ambient-pop appeal to what are ostensibly oblique, abstract masses of sound. Effectively he’s realised a sort of sonic alchemy, rendering shimmering gold from cryptic inputs and process in the blistering swells of Un auto archival, and the curdling bittersweet dissonance of Set The Planet on Fire, You’ll Get a Star, or most plaintively in the ghostly seduction of Ner and the phosphorescent glow of L’étoile du matin.