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Boomkat Product Review:
Influential French duo Étant Donnés concluded their natural sound trilogy with 1994's "Bleu".
It's quiet music, mixing environmental recordings with found sounds and whispered vocals, but there's purpose to their assemblages. They concoct magical narratives that feel mysterious without treading over the line into darkness - it's incredible to hear now how prescient the Duchamp-influenced brothers were, in fact.
Best known for collaborating with Alan Vega, Lydia Lunch, Michael Gira and Genesis P Orridge, Étant Donnés sound most confident and vital when working in their own universe. The tracks presented here - like the waterlogged 'Sirène', made from spliced splashing sounds, or the bizarre and rhythmic 'Pierre Lune', that pairs a pattering beat with pebble scrapes - map out an internal world of texture, philosophy and context. 'Bleu' demands active listening, and if you dedicate yourself to it, it'll reward you in spades.