Boomkat Product Review:
Berlin-based Frenchman Laurent Jeanneau digs once more into South East Asia's cultural mythology, melting field recordings into abstract electronics and highlighting themes that remain mostly invisible in Europe.
Jeanneau has been documenting his world travels for decades, and this time he dives into the conceptual world of James C Scott's "The Art of Not Being Governed, an Anarchist History of Upland South East Asia". Zomia is the idea that there were two worlds in South East Asia that could reflect a number of opposing elements: Buddhism vs Animism, the valley vs the highlands, the state vs anarchy or property vs squat.
This album is the first in a series of releases that will celebrate the region's mythology of contradictions and Jeanneau explores this by juxtaposing futuristic sound design with his extensive library of on-location field recordings. From 2001 to 2014, in Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, China and Thailand, he sought out musicians and recorded them as well as he could, releasing a collection of 160 CDRs.
Now those recordings form the backbone of a more creative project, which sounds like a spliced mutation of sound collage and sci-fi electronics. Synth gurgles, rhythmic edits and processed instruments are lost and rediscovered in a patchwork of almost unidentifiable clips of chattering, playing, singing and performance. It's a trip.