(Waystyx)

Philippe Blanchard (aka Felipe Caramelos, aka bis Lieutenant Caramel) is a serious electroacoustic composer, worthy of comparison with the cream of the genre rather than being inserted in the post-industrial cauldron like it frequently – make that “always” – happens. This music, strangely divided in two CDs whose length is about 18 minutes each, lavishly packaged in apparently identical sleeves (that instead contain different artworks), constitutes the anticipated return by the Frenchman, who hadn’t released anything new for a long time. It is also a confirmation of his great ability in bringing out the most from very basic materials, which include masterfully recorded human activities and simple sketches and sequences based on sampling, looping and synthesis, gentle melodies accompanying myriads of sentences and reflections by disparate segments of mankind (prevalently in Spanish language). There’s not much else to say, except that the high quality of the work resides exactly in this sheer musicality, which should bring to a higher appreciation of the world that surrounds us – not an easy task these days. What’s curious is that placing people’s chatter within a compositional structure renders that a “colour” while, more often than not, the same voices experienced directly – especially when one’s nervous – are just a pain in the ass of tranquillity. There lies a composer’s touch, and Blanchard transform his and our ears in conduits for the correct reception of the flux of everyday life, this outing’s main inspiration being slavery, of all things. But people are indeed natural born slaves – of money, regimes, ideologies, pitiful quests for enlightenments that will never be – therefore it all makes sense.

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