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Go to the Paul Devens website  Paul Devens - Dj Lait Russe [Niew Interactivities - 2002]

Paul Devens has been active in different regions of audio and visual arts, yet this is my first encounter with the Dutchman. "DJ Lait Russe" is his latest output, supported by Niew Interactivities, the province of Limburg, the foundation for fine arts, design and architecture and hedah (centre for contemporary arts in Maastricht).

This album is a concept album, which can be found back in the title "DJ Lait Russe". It is inspired by the Russian youth in the eighties, who wanted to follow the Western music culture where scratching and sampling was used to manipulate records. The only problem for the Russians was, that there was no money available to buy the necessary equipment and records. They improvised with old tapes and tape recorders to create this effect. Paul Devens uses outdoor sounds, which are then samples and manipulated to create a renewed and improvised sound, just like the Russians did back then.

The result of this is a very noisy sound, at times remembering me of Japanese artists in this genre. Some of the parts are just random cut-up noise outbursts while other parts are almost techno-alike structured or very minimal. This isn't the music I could fill all day listening to, although the contrasts between silence & sound, analogue & digital are interesting, as well as the relation towards plunderphonics, electro-noise and musique concrète

But "Dj Lait Russe" is more than just an audio CD. The disc is really full-packed with all kinds of things. Besides the audio part with 15 tracks and 50 minutes of music, there's also a mp3 file present, consisting of 50 minutes of unstructured techno sounds. After that, you can get a visual presentation of Paul Devens by playing the quicktime movie (4 minutes), or you can get best of both with the flash animation. The last mentioned part is probably the most fun part of this disc. With circular buttons you can create an complex visual pattern, which can produce a maximum of 24 different tones. It is easy to experiment with the pitch, duration and presentation, and above all very enjoying.

All in all, this release showcases the talent Paul Devens (and Bert Van Bosch) has is creating interesting audio collages and visual presentations. Perhaps not too interesting if you are not into the music style, but fans of noise and experimental electronic music should certainly try to get this item. Check out his website for a link to some mp3 samples or try this site to see some visual work.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Justin Faase
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