Boomkat Product Review:
Recorded in 1982 - first ever issue on any format! This is a missing piece of GRM legend Bernard Parmegiani’s geometric puzzle, a long-lost, little known soundtrack to a french sci fi movie of the same title, directed by Michel Treguer, and now available for the first time.
It locates Parmegiani working at his home studio concocting a richly atmospheric sound that places his fastidious appreciation of spatial dynamic and tonal detail at the service of cinematic styles perhaps closer to the output of John Carpenter or François Roubaix, rather than his GRM works, as recently heard on a pair of Recollection GRM reissues of L'Œil Écoute / Dedans-Dehors [1970/1977] and his breathtaking De Natura Sonorum .
As one of a number of film and TV soundtracks Parmegiani produced since 1962’s La poupée, his work here reveals a much lesser appreciated aspect of his important canon, which itself was formatively influenced by his roots as a sound engineer for RTF, the french national TV station. In a flux of 19 pieces we hear the grand master of technoid abstraction skilfully fitting sound to image in a wholly original, evocative and innovative manner.
In many ways, Paremgiani’s sounds here place him as a sort of gallic answer to the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, conjuring myriad inventive sounds from a TR-808 drum machine, Synthi AKS, Farfisa organ and D6 clavinet which are properly alien and ostensibly challenging in character, yet make perfect sense in context. They form a strange microcosm unto themselves, taking in the nerve-jangling prangs and keening tone cluster of Générique alongside the deep space arpeggio vector of Depart, and killer, pulsating electro in Recontre Brisson, whilst the skeletal step of Pursuit has rhythmic passages that recall Drexciyan electro, and the likes of Serge Assommé, the album’s longest piece, takes Carpenter at his own game.
Rock is necessary listening for anyone who knows the classic Parmegiani releases, and a potent gateway drug for anyone new to his work.