These Insub.Rec releases from Cyril Bondi’s label indicate the label is building a strong family of improv records, some of them rather conceptual in their nature or their presentation. Today’s item puts two European players into the centre circle, the violinist Anouck Genthon and the trombonist Mathias Forge, on their single-track release Notice (INSUB.REC.CD06).
Anouck Genthon has played with the Insub Meta Orchestra, last heard by us on the Choices / Melodies LP, where they execute impossible tasks under the guidance of Cyril Bondi and d’incise. I find Anouck has many other projects on the go, has had her music published on Another Timbre, and is also a serious student of ethnomusicology, having studied the music of nomadic Arabs in Azawagh and other parts of the Niger. Mathias Forge I know less about, although he has made at least one record of tape recorder experiments, and it may be him supplying the tape player dimension of today’s piece. The writing on the record cover describes Notice in very hard-to-grasp terms… “a piece from different walking experiences”, and something that “can be heard in more or less animated contexts”. The assorted photo images of mountain, lake, and clouds also suggest something to do with exploration of difficult terrain.
I especially like the idea that their music is “permeable”, even though I’ve no idea what it means; perhaps it refers to the nebulous nature of these rather porous drones, or perhaps the fact that the music is so non-specific that each listener can “permeate” it with vectors of their own experience. The addition of spoken word elements is an excellent touch – they might be emerging from the tape recorders – and these somehow punctuate the piece, giving it a little more shape and direction than it might otherwise possess. One could also point out the flawless playing of both musicians on this record, the way they execute what I assume are very demanding moves to produce rigidly minimal music, but I’ll take that as a given. What I’m garnering mostly from today’s spin of Notice is an enigmatic sensation of being lost in an unknown, slightly uncanny place, with no idea how I got here; and yet the simplicity of the playing reassures us there is no slight of hand, no deception. From 17th February 2020.