The tape Niobium (TANUKI RECORDS #27) was created by a new improvising / performance / electro-acoustic group called E42.A8. They like to do it in an abandoned warehouse they found somewhere in the countryside, maybe because it’s so hard to get to, and making the journey is part of the overall collective effort of music-production. I do like the idea of performing in near-secrecy, and in this aspect the group remind me of Unseen, a UK collective who took the idea of “low profile” to a remarkable extreme, performing off the map, unannounced, beside a campfire for an audience of nil (in fact we were lucky if they even documented the results).
The players in E42.A8 also subscribe to a “no rules” agenda, claiming the freedom to occupy both extremes of any musical geography, and the valley in between; from noise to silence and back again, via semi-structured or unstructured methods. What’s more, anyone is eligible to join the club, potentially. The players captured in this instance are Lydia Baziz, Grégory Duby, Anna Gautier, Arthur Lacomme, and Sylvain van iniitu, the latter the Belgian fellow behind the ini.itu record label (now defunct). Some unusual instrumentation for sure; celtic harp, bowed psaltery and cigar-box guitar shows they are not averse to acoustic playing, stringed instruments and home-made devices; the electric side of things mostly comes from Lacomme with his contact mics and Sylvain with his live electronics, but to everyone’s relief the end result is not a fizzing swamp of digital drone; quite often the pluck of a string stands out like a stark lonely plaint in a rather desolate plain of abstract driftery.
Even the chosen name E42.A8 has a large number of resonant meanings and insider-references for the band, which I will leave you to discover (though it would have been better for them just to keep quiet about it, like protecting the “meaning” of AMM). (13/11/2017)