Boomkat Product Review:
Anyone gasping for more Jim O’Rourke after his unreal ‘To Magnetize Money and Catch a Roving Eye’ 4CD set will find succour in his richly enigmatic, ephemeral union with Brunhild Ferrari, a legend of the French avant-garde who shares O’Rourke’s pan-aural gaze in the mystifying interzones of ‘Le Piano Englouti’
In a masterful suite patently inspired by the late, great Luc Ferrari, his widow and collaborator Brunhild meets Jim O’Rourke amid a steeply mystifying pair of electro-acoustic explorations for Oren Ambarchi’s exemplary Black Truffle. The first collaboration between Brunhild Ferrari & Jim O’Rourke binds the titans of two eras in an immersive web of electronics threaded with tape samples of piano, field recordings of the Aegean sea and a Japanese island, and the roar of a Pachinko parlour, inside a dreamlike non-place soundsphere. Recorded in concert at O’Rourke’s SuperDeluxe stomping ground and later mixed/mastered by him at Steamroom, the results clearly speak to the influence of Luc Ferrari as found in O’Rourke’s amazing 4CD box ‘To Magnetize Money and Catch a Roving Eye’, and thanks to the input of Luc’s wife and collaborator of more than 40 years, the results are entirely worthy of comparison with the seminal poet-technician of 20th century avant composition.
While Luc Ferrari’s presence is detectable in the B-side, which uses source material from his 1977 ‘Exercises d’Improvisation’, it feels as though Brunhild and Jim spend the LP’s first side summoning his spirit. With ‘Le Piano Englouti’ they arrive like a dawn mist, before the sounds of digitally distorted waves and footsteps on sand breach the near-silence, leading into 17 minutes of cascading keys that scatter and fall like feathers from the imperceptibly surreal mix of synthetic and natural birdcalls that pepper the scenes, beckoning eyes to back of head and drifting the listener between the piece’s parallel dimensions.
If the A-side has worked its potential, the B-side’s shimmering vision ‘Tranquilles Impatiences’ will only impart its psychedelic subtleties more effectively. Using electronic source material from seven tapes of ‘Exercises d’Improvisation’ recorded by Luc Ferrari in 1977 and intended to be layered with instrumental improvisations, Brunhild and Jim nest chirruping avian tones in a flickering thicket of pulses that gradually open out, swelling into a monumental sound-object with a sort of suppressed, tempered ecstasy that leaves us levitating and rapt by its sublime tension.