Boomkat Product Review:
Legendary German imprint Raster Noton is well known for its often obtuse A&R policy, but this new album from French poet Anne-James Chaton fits in at the most esoteric end of their challenging spectrum. ‘Événements 09’ takes spoken word clips taken from abstract collection of texts and chops them together to create rhythmic patterns. The synthesized, noisy shuffle Pan Sonic might forge from a veritable collection of electronic boxes is re-imagined using the humble voice as the starting point, and although it’s not easy listening by any stretch of the imagination, as the mind gradually deconstructs the words and reveals their odd poignancy the record starts to make a lot of sense. Chaton combs the mundane world for words and phrases; newspapers, receipts and bus tickets are stripped to odd soundbytes and then reframed. You might hear “Barack Obama” repeated again and again on the opening track while dates and numerical codes are layered on top. The ‘B’ of Barack and Obama becomes the kick drum and breaths and numbers form the hissing percussive accompaniment. There is no doubt that there is something supremely original about ‘Événements 09’, it’s not beatboxing, not by a long shot – but this is experimental, rhythmic sound made simply by voice and little else - making for another impressive collection from this always fascinating label.