Yann Leguay is based in Brussels and is a multi-media artist of the sort who respects no boundaries, doesn’t like to draw lines, likes to ask awkward questions…we heard him ages ago in 2011 under his Phonotopy guise when he made a record with Diatribes full of “shapeless and scrapy doodling”. Browsing the Phonotopy website I see he’s put out a number of cross-media releases, some of which try to call attention to the physicality of records and the printed covers they are housed in; for instance his “record without a hole”, or a series of records covered with silkscreen printing. Some of these border on being useless fetish art-objects. But he does sometimes make sounds as well, often involving turntables, cassette players, microphones, static, that sort of thing.
For a recent instance of the latter, his tape Ground (TANUKI RECORDS #25) might serve; it was a live recording he produced in the catacombs of Paris. The main practical issue was how to get a portable battery-operated set up down in a place where presumably there is no electricity or wifi, and Yann seems to have negotiated this hurdle with the efficiency of a commando. He did it as part of an event called “Art Kill” which took place on Friday 13th. An evil growling static noise was his contribution to the death of art, a noise powered by very insistent chugging beats; a reverse dance-floor culture, carried like a plague, spreading its way under the feet of unsuspecting Parisians.
From all the above, I’m forming the impression that Yann Leguay would likes us to think his work is quite subversive. If so, this may have some bearing on the rather pointless A-side of this tape, which involved Brad Downey making a journey across Berlin and capturing the ambient street sounds on a hand-held recorder – along with endless repetitions of the phrase “I Am Here” which he gasps out breathlessly. It’s supposed to be like graffiti in audio form, apparently. To me it was like being stuck with the world’s most boring tour guide for 26 mins. (13/11/2017)