Souvenances by Bruno Duplant

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Bruno Duplant | Souvenances
Verz (CS/DL)

French field recordist Bruno Duplant presents an album of quiet, lowercase soundscapes for the Verz label.  Consisting of three tracks, there is a subtle repetition at work that lulls the listener into some very weird spaces. 

Opening track “première” purrs and whirs for its duration, with strangely hypnotic loops that occasionally wobble out of sync.  Over these loops, high frequency sounds, possibly insects, add psycho-acoustic layers that bristle with energy.  Duplant’s source material remains obscured in this piece, but the lower tones that pulse through its 14 minutes create an almost dubbed-out headspace, the constant repetition eventually morphing into an illusion of rhythm.

Second track, “troisième” is much slower.  The loops are still present and correct, and those insect-like sounds are still buzzing in the periphery, but there’s a lethargic element to this one.  Its track time is also longer, clocking in at 16 minutes exactly.  In fact, all three tracks are perfectly edited so that zero seconds are on the counter, which I feel is clearly an artistic choice in itself.

The final piece is 30 minutes, and uses its length to slow things down even further.  “seconde” begins with a mirage of sound, so spectral that it takes a while for it to become properly perceived.  There’s an intensity on this track that differs from the others, quietly building tension as it proceeds.  The tones are let loose more here too, with wiggling frequencies speeding up and slowing down, like the recordings are being modulated in some way.

This is music to be listened to without distractions, so subtle that environmental sounds will bleed into its sonic field.  Perfect for headphones, it experiments with spatial effects and succeeds in creating a very three dimensional sound world.

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