Boomkat Product Review:
Stunning example of abstract electro-acoustic story-telling. RIYL Luc Ferrari, Ghedalia Tazartes, Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson & BJ Nilsen, Smegma
Mauve is a blinding dispatch from the far side of the modern avant garde, courtesy of indomitable sonic explorer Laurent Gérard a.k.a. Élg upon his return to Cairo’s Nashazphone - site of the French artist’s Captain Present 5 (2009) LP, and more recently home to hits from EEK/Islam Chipsy.
Whether as a solo artist or collaborating with the likes of Bill Kouligas and Ghédalia Tazartes - or even Alan Bishop and Dylan Nyoukis in this instance - Élg has amassed an amazing catalogue of sounds in varying states of derangement, persistently hitting wide of the mainstream with a vision and skilful craft that’s both hugely impressive in its consistency and wide-angled, all-encompassing aim, and vitally necessary amid an all too often conservative electronic music scene.
With his 10th solo album Élg continues to pursue that dilated weltanschuaang in a disciplined yet freeform style, juxtaposing GRM concrète traditions with French chanson, oblique interjections of sampled dialogue and angular turns toward ambient composition; always keeping the listener on their toes with a playful, unresolved balance of naivety and knowing form.
There may be an underlying logic to Mauve but we’re buggered if we can pick it out. It’s much more fun to just marvel at the way he imperceptibly transitions from cavernous, stereo-phasing moebius loops to some bleakly funny Scottish monologue and glimmering, lower case sound poetry by the end of side 1, whilst side 2 totally messes with the senses in a psychoacoustic dream featuring Alan Bishop on Burroughsian rant duties.
Quite crucially, it’s not lo-fi; the production is first-rate, super wide and layered, making full, spacious use of the frequency spectrum to really bring his wild imagination to life. It’s a mad, heavily compelling listen.