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Nicolas Bernier - Transfert/Futur [Acte - 2017]

Montréal sound artist and composer Nicolas Bernier returns to recordings with a new series, 299 792 458 m/s. The first piece in this series is the sparse and challenging Transfert/Futur. Comprising two long form tracks, Transfert/Futur uses a generally minimal synthesis approach to build and shape quickly moving textures and patterns.

Opening with the 18 minute long piece "Transfert (299 792 458 m/s)," Nicolas Bernier makes use of sparseness, uncomfortable patterns, and strange arrangements. "Transfert" plays out like two different tracks stitched together, with only sparseness shared between them. Synthesized notes that dance on top of base layers sometimes fit the bill, while other times seem like they're coming from a seizing modular. Strange for the sake of strange can work sometimes, but at 18 minutes, it seems a bit too self-important and self-indulgent.

"Synthèse (299 792 458 m/s)" follows up the sparse juggernaut with a light, but cohesive, electronic reflection. Flowing a bit better and more structurally solid, "Synthèse" vibes space travel and electronic interference. There is a certain, wacky 50's sci-fi note to the bubbling synthesis on top of the light static, and it helps to reinforce the 299 792 458 m/s of the series' title. However, much like the previous track, "Synthèse" also suffers from an overabundance of randomness and unrestrained synthesis.

Nicolas Bernier's Transfert/Futur is a release aimed at the synthesis crowd. If this were designed/recorded as part of a sculpture piece, the aim is more apparent. However, as a straight recording, it's too off kilter and random for this reviewer.

Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5

Paul Casey
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