Wald by Pedro Chambel + Bruno Duplant

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Pedro Chambel + Bruno Duplant | Wald
Archive Officielle Publications (CD/DL)

In Montreal-based label Archive Officielle‘s fourteenth edition in just a few years Wald shows the publisher’s great attention to detail. This is our very first listening session with this particular imprint, and it’s an earful and a half. This is the collaborative duo of Pedro Chambel and Bruno Duplant gently inspired by the work of Henry David Thoreau, weaving found material and field recordings.

The two longtime collaborators find a peculiar niche that sort of combines the un/familiar, organic and made-up sounds blend in a startling conglomeration. It’s textural, tweaked-out, just strange at times. These two gents do not seem to be attempting anything of a semblance of musical harmony per se, instead they have a very live quality to a sound that at times sounds as if it is sating some kind of monstrous creature. Yes, there is a creepy-crawly factor integrated here.

I love the simplicity to their packaging, in a folded over card in a zip-bag to fit, you can see all the contents before you open it up. This stroke seems to reflect the honesty in the compositional approach as well, transparent and defying easy description. Sure there are bird squawks, but instead of a simple pass-by they are looped, recycled, alongside a churning icy drone that seems to be out to reflect the last vestiges of daylight before the sun goes down.

There is an animalistic quality that is just out of reach, like we are being protected and preyed upon simultaneously. Yes, it’s a queasy atmosphere that croaks and chirps and otherwise gurgles territorially. The organic nuances, blended with the added bits and pieces make for a wide-eared listen. Towards the final seven minutes the more voluminous patterns show signs of exhalation, becoming flaccid to the downgrade in brightness, not unlike a morning glory or other flora that follows the path of the Sun.  Yet, the duo eeks out one final rapturous outburst, something between nature and industry, that flails and fades from earshot.

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