Boomkat Product Review:
Originally released in 2013, Joanna Dudley and Dirk Dresselhaus's 'Louis & Bebe'is an unashamedly theatrical, cross-genre fusion of spindly electroacoustic sound art, twitchy bass music, avant pop, ambient, and neo-classical experimentation.
When musical theater star and accidental Javanese pop diva Joanna Dudley set about working with Dirk Dresselhaus, she had the idea to mastermind an hour-long performance from scratch. So she looked back to the "Forbidden Planet" soundtrack, an innovative electronic score to one of the most influential sci-fi movies of the 20th century, written by Louis and Bebe Barron. Dudley and Dresselhaus were fascinated by the process the couple had to take - in 1956 there weren't yet rules established to box in electronic music, so the sounds were as alien as the movie's landscape. The couple would develop musical circuitry that would have its own life cycle, mimicking the out-of-this-world organisms on the titular planet's surface. The thing that Dudley and Dresselhaus held onto was the idea of the birth and death of sound, and over almost an hour they re-approach this theme again and again, channeling their creative energy through various different musical forms.
At first, the duo's music is relatively academic and restrained, with filigree field recordings and desperately piercing synthesizer effects setting the stage for a challenging listening experience. But this soon flips completely, and dusty piano chords accompany Dudley's whimsical voice, sounding like distant Far Eastern pop music echoing through time. Later on, mangled bass construxions rub against orchestra pit eccentricity while birds crow and squealing feedback crushes any dancefloor potential. To throw us another curveball, the duo dissolve their sound into wall-of-sound shoegaze-folk that's part Animal Collective and part My Bloody Valentine. Ain't much else out there quite like this, we gotta say.