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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Cyril Bondi,Pierre-Yves Martel &Christop - TSE [Another Timbre - 2018]

TSE is a suite of five modern compositions that move between doomed simmering’s, angular sourness, and wavering dread. The release comes in the form of a CD on Sheffield’s Another Timbre, and as we’ve come to expect from the label this is another of shot well conceived & perfectly recorded experimental sound craft.

The five-piece work here is improvised, yet it revolves around a series of pre-agreed pitches. So, as a result, you get a suite that has continuity & recurring sour melodies, as well as feeling of foreboding loose-ness, and bitter surprise. The piece was recorded in November 2017, at the insub.studio in Geneva.

The three-piece collective is made up of Cyril Bondi- Indian Harmonium, pitch pipes, and objects. Pierre-Yves Martel- Viola Da Gamba, pitch pipes, & harmonica. And Christoph Schiller- Spinet. The blend of droning & sawing instrumentation give the trio a very much of a doomed & slurred sound, and they use this to good effect on TSE.

The five-piece suite comes in at a total of forty-six minutes- with each part of the suite hitting between seven & ten-minute mark. The suite opens in a fairly coarse/nervy manner with a spaced-out mixture of brooding string simmers, sudden higher pitched string twangs, and slurred pipes.  As we move through the suites runtime the pace is kept fairly considered & slowed- as angular droning meets with a blend of higher-to-sour string pluck, and bleak stretched out simmer. From time to time pulled-out & slurred melodies appear, but ultimately these seem secondary, and the main focus here is to create a doomed atmosphere & malevolent haze of sound

The work does very much feel like a suite, due to both the focused selection of pitches, and the occasion recurring patterns. And on the downside this does, at times, create a feeling of little progression/ movement- but if you’re interested slowed, slurred, off-kilter & decidedly soured modern composition I think you’ll get something out of TSE. I took this release away with me on a recent Greek holiday, and it both nicely lulled me out and created an effective bleak contrast to all the sun & fun going on around me.

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Roger Batty
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