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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

Étant Donnés - L'Opposition Et Les Cases Conjuguées Sont Réconcil [Klaggalerie - 2019]

L'Opposition Et Les Cases Conjuguées Sont Réconciliées was the second album from creative French brothers Marc and Eric Hurtado- the 1981 release showed the pair creating a daring, shifting & creative sonic tapestry of cut-up/ deranged vocals/ voices, field recordings, random noise matter, and all manner of sonic flotsam & Jetsam. On Klaggalerie Following up there CD reissue of the pairs 1980 debut album La Vue, here’s a recent CD reissue of their second album- which features a bonus unreleased track from the same period.

L'Opposition Et Les Cases Conjuguées Sont Réconciliées originally appeared in 1981 as a C30 on French label  Bain Total- this took in the two untitled tracks on either side of the cassette. I’m not sure how many where pressed of this edition- but I can’t imagine it was a huge amount. This new release is the first time the album has been put out since, and it’s presented in a plain, simple, yet effective black & white digipak sleeve that takes in the album's original cover photo artwork of stark fruit trees.
 
L'Opposition Et Les Cases Conjuguées Sont Réconciliées ( or roughly translated The Opposition And The Conjugated Boxes Are Reconciled) is certainly a highly unpredictable, daring, at times very head-spinning record- where the pair stop off all manner of sonic places.  Instead of been untitled like on the original release the first two tracks use the albums title & Parts 1 and 2- and it seems also that the tracks have been extended too from their original release, as each now runs at the 19.50 mark.
 
 
So “Part 1” opens with a selection of rustling & human breaths- fairly soon we get a series of loses bangs, cut-up vocal shouts & nonsense chatter. As the track moves on we go from blends of grinding noise & honking synth tone, before moving onto more piecing stretchers of noise hover, with later blends of road/ transport & noise pittering noise grains. Though-out the track remains darting & active- yet there feels both meaning & focus to the pairs often manic composition style- and really you don’t know what will happen next- be it sped-up music samples & junk noise, slurred out buzzing & purring organ tones with eerier tape samples slips, or galloping field recording weaves of droning industrial tones & break glass.
 
"Part 2" is just a varied/ shifting, though as the track moves on it does dwell slightly longer on some elements. With-in the first few minutes, we move from wonky & waving elector tone flows, blurred & chopped guitar samples & noise grain, darting harmonic organ playfulness, and skittering sped-up elements. As we move off through the piece we find drifts of waving vocals, onto sudden build-ups of hammering textured noise- with buried sped-up aeroplane recordings, through bucking-yet-hypnotic pile-ups of layers of metal chops ‘n’ spins.
 
The bonus/ unreleased track is “Music for the film Des autres terres souples part 1”. This rolls in at the ten minutes forty-second mark- it begins fairly pared back/eerier with a series of distant bangs/ drones- these might be slowed down recordings of gunfire- as we move along the tracks length things get a little more jarring/ manic as we get sudden sustains of sped up matter & whizzing tones, but we still keep returning to scrubbing-to-dragging field recordings that could be chugging old trucks, more war sounds, alarm sirens, and blends of chopped out vocalising & industrial machine samples. The tracks as worthy as the first two tracks, and works well with them to now creating a satisfy fifty-minute long album.
 
Since starting Étant Donnés have release 30 plus albums- so there’s a possibility for more re-releases from this excellent project who really deserve more attention from the wider noise/experimental underground. Let's hope Klaggalerie have got some more reissues planned, as I’d love to hear more of this projects back catalog.

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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