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Pascal Battus / Dafne Vicente-Sandoval: Pascal Battus / Dafne Vicente-Sandoval

John Eyles By

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This double CD features the duo of Pascal Battus on rotating surfaces, styrofoam, paper, plastic objects and microphones plus Dafne Vicente-Sandoval on bassoon, microphones and mixing board. Although the two have not recorded together previously, they have each recorded before for Potlatch, in duos that were similar enough to be seen as preparation for this meeting, Battus with saxophonist Christine Sehnaoui Abdelnour on Ichnites (2010) and Vicente-Sandoval with Klaus Filip playing sine waves on Remoto (2013). Each of those albums combined and contrasted sounds from the wind instrument with the non-instrumental sounds. In fact, this eponymous album completes a neat trilogy with those two older releases.

Its two discs were recorded in March 2015 at La Muse en Circuit studios, Alfortville, situated at the junction between the rivers Marne and Seine. On the first disc, subtitled "Marne," the instruments were amplified with single small microphones put close to them and, on the second, "Seine," they were played acoustically. "Marne" consists of nine tracks, totalling forty-three minutes and ranging in length from under two minutes to nearly nine minutes. "Seine" features six longer tracks, totalling over fifty-two minutes, the longest lasting nearly thirteen minutes.

The use of microphones on "Marne" introduces a qualitative difference between the two discs. On "Marne," the sound has an immediacy and intimacy that can make the listener feel as if they are right inside the bassoon or adjacent to the speakers, while on "Seine" the listener is further away, more in the role of an audience member. The two discs are in stark contrast, but rather than one being "better" than the other, the two complement one another and together give a fuller picture than either would do alone. Exactly the same is true of the two performers; although it is not always played conventionally, the bassoon contrasts with the impressive range of sounds and noises generated by Battus. However, the contrast between them does not make them incompatible as both players are clearly mindful of finding common ground and making the combination work. The end result is a rich, diverse eai album that never becomes trite or formulaic, but sounds fresh each time it is played.


Track Listing: Un; Deux; Trois; Quatre; Cinq; Six; Sept; Huit; Neuf; Dix; Onze; Douze; Treize; Quatorze; Quinze.

Personnel: Pascal Battus: rotating surfaces, styrofoam, paper, plastic objects, microphones (1-9) ; Dafne Vicente-Sandoval: bassoon, microphones (1-9), mixing board (1-9)

Title: Pascal Battus / Dafne Vicente-Sandoval | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Potlatch Records

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