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Hélène Prévost: À la plage (2014)

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Hélène Prévost: à la plage How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Montreal-based Canadian radio presenter, producer and sound artist Hélène Prévost creates in her debut recording a play within play, made of words and manipulated sounds that blur the distinctions between reality and fiction, real and virtual time. À la plage ("at the beach" in French) has nothing to do with breezy, recreational, summer leisure time but actually is a word play on the word "plage," a track.

The ten tracks distill Prévost's great experience of working with the most innovative and experimental improvisers in Canada and abroad, as a producer of programs on Radio Canada from 1978-2007. She reassembles her exploratory field recordings—comprised of fragments of talks and words, urban sounds, and samples of what may have been conventional instruments in some archaic past—into distinct yet abstract sound universes. All these sound worlds are highly expressive in their detailed and poetic sonic ecologies. All are carefully devised sonic events that accumulate into an arresting journey in sounds, real and imagined, live, manipulated and processed.

Some of these sonic abstractions replicate real-life experiences (as the fourth that creates an industrial environment), but the fifth suggests an enigmatic drone, and the sixth is a disturbing soundscape comprised of noises. The quiet mechanical sounds of the eighth and ninth parts already offer evocative, dreamy sonic journeys. The last one—melting, mixing, and sampling, sounds of sirens, bells, electronic calls and broken words—sounds indeed as a rhythmic wake-up call from this mysterious trip within sounds.

Track Listing: À La Plage 1; À La Plage 2; À La Plage 3; À La Plage 4; À La Plage 5; À La Plage 6; À La Plage 7; À La Plage 8; À La Plage 9; À La Plage 10.

Personnel: Hélène Prévost: field recordings, electronics.

Record Label: Tour De Bras


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