100

Sylvain Rifflet: Alphabet

Eyal Hareuveni By

Sign in to view read count
Sylvain Rifflet: Alphabet There is no suitable title for French composer/reed player Sylvain Rifflet's uartet other than Alphabet, a name that begins to describe the rich contemporary language of this unique quartet. Rifflet mixes influences, from Tom Waits' use of junk percussive instruments and Captain Beefheart's anarchistic sound collages to the sound designs of film composer Cliff Martinez (known for his soundtracks for the films of director Steven Soderbergh), and a shows a deep knowledge of the work of minimalist composers such as Steve Reich and Philip Glass.

Each member of this quartet also uses electronics in order to enhance their own inventive sound palette, and together they create a sound like a whole orchestra. The composed parts, all by Rifflet, melt organically into the improvisations and tough the compositions conceptual titles sound cerebral the music is playful, full of imagination and emotional.

The album develops as a set of suites. The two-part "Hyper Imaginative JuKe (box)" sounds, at first, like a spare, lyrical suite led by flautist Jocelyn Mienniel's expressive playing, but then other layers of sounds are added— recorded voice, industrial metallic percussive sounds, atmospheric guitar and otherworldly electronics— and this gentle piece becomes charged with a mean tension that evaporates immediately at its coda. "Electronic Fire Gun" and "To Z" are structured as a powerful prog-rock suites, with dramatic, muscular and tight shifts in each of their segments.

"® and Silence," "À l'heure" and "Q" contrast Benjamin Flament's industrial percussive sounds with Philippe Gordiani's delicate playing on electric and acoustic guitars, and culminate with merry dialogues. On "Q," Rifflet and Mienniel float smoothly over these percussive sounds.

"C not equal D," in its two parts, pays tribute to Reich and Glass' seminal minimalist writing with their repeated patterns in unison, but the quartet expands the minimalist composers' legacies with surprising elements as Gordiani's distorted solo guitar and Mienniel's soft and meditative flute solo both fit naturally with its intense minimalist structure. "A=B" joyfully deconstructs the former severe minimalist vein with childish charm. The concluding "Vowels, Kids & Ballons" continues to mix and destruct such different elements as Middle Eastern flute, surf guitar and extended breathing techniques on clarinet into an addictive, playful dance.

A powerful masterpiece.

Track Listing: Hyper Imaginative JuKe (box) (part 1); Hyper Imaginative JuKe (box) (part 2); Electronic Fire Gun; To Z; ® and Silence; À l'heure; Q; C≠D (part 1); C≠D (part 2); A=B; Vowels, Kids & Ballons.

Personnel: Sylvain Rifflet: saxophone, clarinets, metallophone, electronics; Jocelyn Mienniel: flutes, electronics; Benjamin Flament: percussion, electronics; Philippe Gordiani: guitars, electronics.

Title: Alphabet | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Roll On CD/LP/Track Review Roll On
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 25, 2017
Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 25, 2017
Read Pandora's Bag CD/LP/Track Review Pandora's Bag
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 25, 2017
Read Float The Edge CD/LP/Track Review Float The Edge
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 25, 2017
Read The Attic CD/LP/Track Review The Attic
by John Sharpe
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Outside The Comfort Zone CD/LP/Track Review Outside The Comfort Zone
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 24, 2017
Read "Aziza" CD/LP/Track Review Aziza
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 19, 2016
Read "Negative Spaces" CD/LP/Track Review Negative Spaces
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 8, 2016
Read "No Parking Any Time" CD/LP/Track Review No Parking Any Time
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 5, 2017
Read "Clockwise: The Music Of Cedar Walton" CD/LP/Track Review Clockwise: The Music Of Cedar Walton
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 19, 2017
Read "Chant" CD/LP/Track Review Chant
by Nicola Negri
Published: December 25, 2016
Read "This Is The Uplifting Part" CD/LP/Track Review This Is The Uplifting Part
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 22, 2017

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!