Boomkat Product Review:
Following on from his hugely acclaimed "Un Autre Décembr" for Fat Cat offshoot label 130701, and a number of collaborations with Steven Hess and friends under the "On" moniker, Chauveau has amassed a sizeable following with his pristine blend of electro-accoustic minimalism and piano-based composition. Type have quite a mouth-watering release schedule lined up from this exceptional artist (including a number of key reissues of scarcely available albums originally available via the DSA imprint), but this opening 21 minute salvo gives us a glimpse into Chauveau's current modus operandi and will surprise even those of you who have followed his career closely. "S" opens up with the quite magnificent "Composition 8", a threadbare electronic hum that builds up an expectant tension that leaves you unsure as to what exactly might happen next, at what frequency, and to what effect. After a couple of minutes the threads begin to fray and what could so easily have turned into an ear-splitting fragmentation soon dissolves into a delicate, moving, slow motion berceuse that brings to mind Oren Ambarchi, Ry Cooder's Paris Texas and Donato Wharton's most fulfilling material in one fell swoop. This remarkable piece just about falls within the brackets of modern day soundtrack music we love so much, but something in the technique and realisation gives it an unnerving edge that's quite removed from the soothing recitals you might expect. Second track "P." shifts back to Chauveau's more familiar Piano work, with nominal elements yielding the fullest sonic ramifications. Like Alva Noto / Ryuichi Sakamoto's much loved "Vrioon" without the digital tempering, or a compacted Morton Feldman shed of much of the academic baggage, its another sweeping gesture realised with an immense attention to detail that never fails to engage the listener absolutely. It's this aural scarcity and assured minimalism that's the most rewarding and impressive aspect of Chauveau's work, overcoming the clinical, sterile impact of so much material of its ilk with an emotive underlay that's not hidden so far beneath the surface as to become impenetrable. On the closing piece "A_" many of these archetypal elements become entwined, with a warm fuzz of digital detritus becoming surrounded by a wistful hue of acoustic tempering and even a dismembered narrative, inserted to remind you that flesh and bone reside behind, and control, these wonderful machines. Maginficent stuff - and a huge recommendation.