Boomkat Product Review:
The GRM are on their top game with a jaw dropping electro-acoustic wonder by Michèle Bokanowski, one time student at the ORTF Research Department under Pierre Schaeffer before becoming a computer music student of Eliane Radigue at the Faculté de Vincennes. Her soundtracks for husband Patrick Bokanowski’s films are little known but absolute pinnacles of the artform.
Bokanowski’s small but perfectly formed catalogue is here highlighted by Parisian institute the GRM who pair two works created by the french artist in 2008 and 2018 to bring us up to speed with her solo studio work and her sidestream of sound for film, specifically an award winning flick by her husband, Patrick Bokanowski. Despite studying since the ‘70s, and appearing on releases including Michel Chion’s ‘Requiem’ in 1978, this is the first time that her music crossed our ears, opening us up to a world of incredible composition - since the release of this set we've found ourselves totally snagged in her furling loops and brooding tonal depths, eager to encounter everything she’s worked on so far.
Bokanowski previously issued an overlooked side on Donato Epiro’s excellent Canti Magnetici in 2019, and a haul of CDs between the early ‘90s and 2014, but this LP effectively served to give scope to her practice between that period and now. Recorded in 2018, ‘Rhapsodia’ offers a remarkable first meeting with her music for many heads; ushering 17 minutes of gently scudding, windswept loops and laminal strings redolent of Wolfgang Voigt at his most stately, but tempered with her own, etheric temporality and fathomless space that leaves us in awe of the magick at play.
For contrast, ‘Battements solaires’ plays to her stream of soundtrack composition for her husband’s film of the same name (winner of Best Film Award, 20009 EXiS Festival, South Korea) and reveals a rare, exceedingly sensitive gift for gloaming, parallel dimensional atmospheres and sublime tension guided by supremely heightened intuition and ability to displace time.