Sebastien Roux – Revers Ouest – CD – ROOM 40

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www.room40.org

Roux’s oblique, leftfield experimentalism is well documented, and much of his work lies suspended in that grey middle ground somewhere between the musique concret tradition, and abstract ambience. His sound is unmistakably French, infused with a spirit of charm, creativity and playfulness that is at once endearing, humorous, rich, and fascinating.

Revers Ouest is essentially a radiophonic experiment based on the voices, and vocal fragments of two actors. Reading the slightly fuzzy sleevenotes, one gets the impression that there is a loose narrative to the pieces on display, but nothing that is integral to the enjoyment of the recording.

Roux as a technician, creates energetic pieces that positively bristle with creativity..constantly shape-shifting, yet allowing light and space to permeate..his material as always challenged perceptions, and short – circuited expectation.

Here, vocalisation is subjected to rigorous topological permutations, ranging from the alien to the utterly sublime. Occasionally, fragments of the source appear, unsullied, raw – propelling the listener back into the loose narrative suggested in the sleevenotes. As a non- French speaker, I can barely guess what is being uttered, however, this is aural sci-fi that describes the city of Nantes..a futurist, isolated utopian vision of architecture where buildings are made like concrete waves. This is not the glossy, super sleek futurism envisioned by Kubrick or Lucas..more a fusion of Fritz Lang, and Orwell..dark, mysterious, dystopian, fractured. I know this world, and I have lived the lives suggested by the text, and so a part of me resonates with the sounds..the sounds of doors squeaking, static overload, disembodied voices..human activity around every corner, yet slightly other worldly like a bad dream. Listened to in the dark, under headphones, this is powerful stuff, and I am transported into Roux’s world..a world of whispers and secret musings, muffled expressions, silent screams..highly recommended. BGN

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About whiteline1

WHITE_LINE was set up three years ago, in order to play and promote the work of artists and musicians working under the banner of "minimalism", in all its many guises. This has led to a regular and highly successful mix slot on the Garden of Earthly Delights radio show in the UK, and guest appearances on Resonance FM (frequenzen show). We now aim to extend the remit of the mix slots by reviewing (as often as possible) material that encapsulates and crystallises the minimalist ethic, and hopefully we'll be leading artists and audiences alike towards a deeper appreciation of this and other marginalised genres. I welcome your comments, and criticisms, and would love to hear from labels and artists who would like their work showcased on the show, or reviewed here. We regret that due to time constraints, we cannot review everything that is sent to us, but will endeavour to give exceptional work an "honourable mention" at the very least, and links to quality sites that we think worthy of mentioning. I am trying to support labels and artists as much as possible by promoting their work, not least because I am a stereotypical "struggling artist" myself, but also because there are so few younger artists entering this particular scene, and there is a danger of it becoming the sole domain of a handful of forty somethings who really ought to be doing something better with their time! Having worked for most of the more reputable underground magazines in the early 90's, I was never afforded the luxury of taking time and care over reviews, as deadlines and column space were always hanging like the sword of Damocles over me. With WHITE_LINE, I have the luxury of being able to review when I have time, and I am receptive to a particular mood, and hopefully this will reflect in the quality and length of some of the reviews. If you like what you see, please link to me to encourage more traffic through the site, and cross promote whatever is happening out there. Address for promotional material: 45 Drovers Walk Spring Park, Kingsthorpe Northampton NN2 8BB UK

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