Boomkat Product Review:
Contemporary concrète artist Lionel Marchetti plays the world as an instrument in ‘Jeu De Monde’, a marvellous 6 hour suite of 20 multifaceted compositions giving voice to nature in strange, hyperreal ways, and sure to light up followers of Pierre Henry, Bernard Parmegiani, and Michel Chion. Incredible, absorbing listening.
Drawn from long unavailable editions, reworks and previously unreleased pieces realised between 1991-2018, each CD has been designed as “an audio film which tells a full story” in a strong tradition of modern french art music. The set coincidentally marks 25 years since Marchetti’s first works in this field, since when he’s established himself among Europe’s foremost practitioners of the concrète style forged by PIerres Henry and Schaeffer some 40 years prior.
Using an intricate system of synths, analog and digital manipulation, percussion, low fidelity samplers, Revox tape, vocals, prepared piano and field recordings, Marchetti renders a series of audio images, or 3D tapestries that present the world familiar yet warped, emphasising its ephemeral aspects with particular attention paid to highlighting the dark matter or negative space that binds it all together.
It’s an absorbing, labyrinthine listening experience, invoking occult metaphysics with the opening chapter’s sequence between ‘Psychopomps (Piège À Fantômes)’, the viscera of ‘Near Death Experience’, and the canny use of samples of Whitehouse and Pierre henry in the escatological scope of ‘Inferno’, whereas the ‘Natura Morte’ section limns a phantasmic, dreamlike play of nature and body horror sounds, and the ‘Océan (de la fertilté)’ chapter feels like a transmission from J.G. Ballard’s drowned world, where cities have turned into mangroves and the air crackles with comms between psycho pirates and warring survivors of sea level rises.
For anyone with a vivid imagination, this boxset is roughly the same length but infinitely more entertaining than a Netflix gouch out. We definitely know which we’d prefer to do.